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 showy, red flowers are an inch in size and remain in bloom almost all year long. These showy flowers produce nectar, so they're favored by hummingbirds and butterflies. When you visit the garden, spend some time near the Red Fairy Duster, you may see a hummingbird dip its beak in the flowers.


The fruit produced is a legume. This bean pod 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.