Calliandra surinamensis


Family: Belongs to the Mimosaceae family, which includes the imposing Saman (Samanea saman) and Woman's Tongue (Albizia lebbek).

Description: Fast growing, low branching, small tree or shrub with multiple thin stems and dense foliage, up to 5 m tall (16 ft) but more commonly half that size; large specimen on left of road going north to Gardens Main Gate; leaves usually bipinnate, with 7-14 pairs of oblong leaflets, each 10-17 mm long (0.4-0.7 in) and 3-5 mm wide (0.1-0.2 in); flowers axillary, compound, 6-8 cm across (2-3 in), fragrant and showy; look like powderpuffs due to mass of long filaments; filaments white at base and pink or red above (in contrast to the regular Powderpuff, C. purpurea, which is all red or red-purple); extent of white may vary; filaments 3-4 cm long (1.2-1.6 in); fruit a flat pod, first green then turning brown, 7-15 cm long (3-6 in), and 8-13 mm broad (0.3-0.5 in), containing 5-6 seeds; profuse flowering throughout year.

Natural Habitat: Well drained soil in full sun or partial shade; but will grow on a range of soil types and is drought resistant; propagation by seed or cutting.

Origin and Distribution: Native to tropical S. America; distributed variously in tropics and sub-tropics; found throughout Caribbean

Government of SVG



Contact the gardens

Telephone: (1 784) 4935824