Calliandra eriophylla

Fairy Duster - Calliandra eriophylla
South slopes of Mimbres Mountains, NM, USA

According to various sources, Fairy Duster, Calliandra eriophylla, is not found in Sierra County - although some specimens are known from Luna and Grant counties.  The specimen shown here is from the northern part of Luna County, on the south slope of the Mimbres Mountains (treated as part of the Black Range for the purposes of this website).

The BONAP map to the right shows the range of this species within the United States.  Its range extends south to the southern part of Mexico.  It is likely that the spot where this photo was taken is one of a very few where this species appears in the Black Range, it appears to prefer elevations of less than 5,000 feet.  The light green color indicates that the species is native to, and not rare within, the county indicated.

Scientific synonyms for Calliandra eriophylla include two varietal names, Anneslia eriophylla and Feuileea eriophylla.  It was first described by George Bentham in 1844.   Other English Common names include, Fairyduster, Pink Fairyduster, Mesquitilla, Baja Fairy Duster, and Mock Mesquite.

The Native American Ethnobotany Data Base indicates that the Yavapai used a decoction of leaves and stems from this species as a gynecological aid following childbirth.

Although earlier specimen sheets are available, the one shown below is of a plant collected by Dr. E. A. Mearns, in Grant County on April 30, 1892.  It was collected as part of his efforts in support of the United States National Herbarium Mexican Boundary Survey of that year.





© Robert Barnes 2018