Summary of the red fairy duster and its traditional use

Kumeyaay name: unknown

Red Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica)

Red fairy duster is an evergreen shrub (2 – 6 feet high) that is native to Baja California, Mexico. Its fern-like leaves close at night. Its flowers, which bloom in the early spring, have conspicuous bright red stamens. The fruit is a legume (bean pod) that releases its seeds by exploding.


The Kumeyaay make a decoction of leaves and stems from the red fairy duster. Women use this decoction after childbirth.