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Calliandra peninsularis

 

Baja Fairy Duster

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusCalliandraFrom the Greek kallos, “beautiful,” and andra, “stamen”
SpeciespeninsularisGrowing on a peninsula; for example, referring to the first collection of the species Allium peninsulare in Baja California, a peninsula

About plant names...

The Baja fairy duster is a type of mimosa.

Identification: I’m guessing that photo 2 is Calliandra peninsularis rather than a somewhat smaller Callliandra californica because I saw this at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and their web site lists C. peninsularis. Like other fairy dusters (e.g. Calliandra haematocephala, Calliandra eriophylla Benth.), these have small dark green bipinnate leaves. The soft-bristled “flowers” are really sprays of stamens.

In this species, the shape of the “brush” is like an inverted cone; in others it is more rounded. The flowers are small and white, fused together at the base of the stamens, and not very interesting (unless of course you happen to be a hummingbird). Seed pods are small, curled and dark brown. As they dry out, they build up pressure like a coiled spring, eventually exploding to spread their seeds.

Online References:

Calliandra peninsularis at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Sonoran Desert Digital Library

Calliandra peninsularis on www.wildscaping.com

Calliandra peninsularis at George and Audrey DeLange's Arizona wildflower site

Calliandra peninsularis at Gymnosperms.org

Calliandra peninsularis on ZipcodeZoo.com

Calliandra peninsularis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Calliandra peninsularis (Baja Fairy Duster)

1 · Don't know the species of the hummingbird. · 5/24/2009 · Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ
≈ 5 × 3½" (12 × 8.7 cm)

Calliandra peninsularis (Baja Fairy Duster)

2 · 5/24/2009 · Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ
≈ 2½ × 4" (7 × 10 cm)