This rascaly shrub has the custes of nick names "Fairy Duster" (botanical name is Calliandra) and that can conjur up some images of wee faes flitting about with one of these blossoms in hand as they attend to some type of faerie cleaning. (truthfully, I would hope in the faerie world we would NOT have to do any type of housework!!) I can even see this little blossom being a fine skirt for a faerie ball. Here in the desert Southwest, these blooming shrubs are really an announcement that the spring flower show is about to arrive. The scraggly, scrubby, 2'-4' bush thankfully lacks spines which seem to be on just about every growing thing out here! It's not a pretty bush by any means in and of itself. The 'fruit' is a flattened, brown pod covered with soft hairs that splits open and stays on the plant for a long time afterward. You have to really love the burst of color to put up with the rather ugliness of it for most of the year. It almost appears to be dead......except for the dramatic explosion of pink or red stamens. "Puff" like and very appropiately named I think. One of the most wonderful things about the plant is that hummingbirds LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to visit them. The vibrant color engages them and we happily watch as the tiny hummers flitter and flutter around. It's quite a delightful show.

So as I left work yesterday afternoon I passed by this bush and had to capture the vision and share with you. And to those of you who are still knee-deep in snow, well, I'm sorry (unless you are loving every inch of it) as we are about to begin the most gorgeous time here with incredible color bursting from the most unlikely places. Perhaps it's nature's ploy to dazzle us before we begin to fry. That will be here sooner than I care to think.


zUzU said...

Yummers! =^..^=

Did you hear me squealing in pure delight all the way from Cali? I immediately looked the fairy duster up only to discover it is not in any of the books in my cottage ::SIGH::

I need to see one of these bushes in person! I might NEED one! Maybe I just need to snitch some of the puffs. I just fell into total adoration for it the moment you described the little blooms as tiny faerie skirts! Then you said the hummers float about it and I knew. It reminds me somewhat of the California bottle brush (also a hummingbird magnet.)

Today was a second spring-like day here too ... and although the weekend is to be washed with another storm, today was heavenly. I was in a gardening mood already. Your post is perfect.

Had to laugh at the remark about "dazzle us before we begin to fry." Every other person I ran into today remarked about how we would regret this early spring weather come July when it's hellish.

I'm happy for now anyway. (but ask me again in July)
=^..^= love, zU

Rella said...

zU....you most certain SHOULD be able to have and grow fairy dusters in California!! I'm pretty darn sure. If you cannot find them and you really want one, I am so sure us magpie faeries can manage to make it happen. What is your planting zone?
As I mentioned way earlier in blogsville, we have two seasons...gorgeous and hotter than hell. My eyes actually hurt from April-May to October!!! :) hugs Rella

One Crabapple said...

Darling bush ! I love that name.

I think I have it's cousin in my yard
The Bottle Brush Tree.

Yes ! The hummingbirds do love it ! and the squirrels love to eat the little brushes too ( longer than your Dusters....larger ). And the bees like them too.

Well how sweet to find out about the Fairy Duster !

Thank you- and thank you for your idea ! (Just BEE Kind - I like that idea Very Much - x o -)

Beth said...

Yes....we are still knee deep in snow, but this plant SO made my day...ohhh, to live in the south.

And yes...I am a nice person, honest...it was a fun day and I didn't really steal !!!!

And thanks so much for my card...I love it and it's me...or at least the beachy girl I think I am !!

zUzU said...

Hummm =^..^=

We are zone 8 or 9 depeding on where one is sitting. I am certain you are right about growing fairy dusters here ... I must ask around town this spring.

Someone must know of them here but I do not recall ever seeing one before. Of course, perhaps I have seen one and it was not in bloom yet so I passed by ...

I have fairy everything here. Fairy wands (a grass) ... Fairy bells (bulbs) ... Fairy roses (the itty bitty teensy tiny antique ones from the 1700s -- 2 foot tall bushes, quarter-inch leaves & bitsy pink buds ::sigh::) ... Oh anything Fairy this and fairy that. I also love anything with a "rabbit" theme. Bunny ear lavender ... Bunny tails ... Rabbit foot ferns ... Etc.

It just seems that Fairy dusters might fit right in the scheme of things, don't you think?

=^..^= xoxo zU

dogfaeriex5 said...

wow these are certainly from the faerie realm...some magical orb, i think...i love your pictures..xoxo~kim

Kahshe Cottager said...

What a pretty flower! I can just imagine little fairies zooming around with their dusters. It must be magical when the hummingbirds join in the fun!

I am knee deep in snow and envious!