Fairyduster [Calliandra eriophylla Benth.]

Fairyduster [Calliandra eriophylla Benth.]

Listing CNPS List 2 R-E-D Code 3-1-1

State/Federal. Status -- None FABACEAE Jan.-Mar.

Global Rank G5 State Rank S?

Distribution: San Diego County, Imperial County, Riverside County; Arizona; New Mexico; Baja California, eastward and south into mainland Mexico

Habitat: Sonoran Desert Scrub, primarily rocky hillsides and bajadas, is the preferred habitat of the showy Fairy Duster.

Known Sites: Fairy Duster is readily seen planted at Anza-Borrego Park Headquarters in Borrego. San Diego County herbarium collections are from the south base of Pinyon Mountain, in Blair Valley, in the Vallecitos Mountains, and in the extreme northeastern corner of the County. Herbarium specimens from Imperial County include the Chocolate Mountains at Indian Pass Road 7 miles northeast of Ogilby Road, near Tumco in the Cargo Muchacho Mountains, 5 miles south of the Mickway Well on the Blythe/Glamis Road, in Mammoth Wash north of Calipatria, 13 miles from Glamis on the road to Blythe, 3.5 miles north of Ogilby on the road to Blythe, and in the In-Koh-Pah area near the San Diego County line. A Riverside County herbarium specimen from Mesquite Canyon was seen. Shreve and Wiggins report this shrub from Arizona, New Mexico, south into Jalisco and Puebla in Mexico. Felger reports Fairy Duster on Tiburon Island in the Gulf of California; Mclaughlin reports it from the Cargo Muchacho Mountains of eastern Imperial County in washes and flats.

Seven specimens from Baja California are found in the herbarium at the San Diego Natural History Museum; south to 31 20' North where collected on the north slopes of Arroyo Teraizo by Moran (SD 89785) in the Sierra Juarez. Herbarium collections include Oaxaca and Sonora.

Status: Fairy Duster is quite rare in San Diego County and appears to be relatively uncommon elsewhere in the southern deserts of California. Since its potential desert habitat is rarely developed; populations are presumed stable.


Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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