Sunday, March 23, 2014

Calliandra surinamensis 'Pink Poodle'

Calliandra surinamensis 'Pink Poodle'
Getting inspired about garden design, plants and planting combinations by visiting 'open gardens' is the way to go at any time of year. Last weekend I was lucky enough to visit the open garden of horticulturist and garden writer Helen Curran MAIH. Her 'Tropical Breeze' garden in the Sydney suburb of Seven Hills is a marvel of sub-tropical planting, and, of the many shrubs which caught my eye, I ended up on a mission this week to find this Calliandra. This species has different leaves to the more commonly grown C. haematocephala, the red, pink or white flowered 'powder-puff' flower, resembling in fact that dreaded weed of the tropics the sensitive plant Mimosa pudica.The similarity ends there and this shrub, which can grow from 3 to 5 metres in height with a similar spread, has a structure of long arching branches allowing to support an understory of smaller shrubs or bromeliads. Helen used Iresine herbstii and Alcantarea imperialis 'Rubra' to great effect as these highlight the neon pink Calliandra flowers. 
2017 update: I currently don't have any stock of 'Pink Poodle'

1 comment:

  1. I found this plant in gardens around Cairns about thirty years ago and brought it back to Brisbane.
    I named it C.surinamensis after seeing photos in "Tropica" I seem to remember and t would seem this was the correct naming?
    We sold it for years, but it is now difficult to find in nurseries, as garden trends have changed.
    It can be a very useful and beautiful plant, though you have to watch out for seedlings becoming weedy.
    Seedlings are stable unlike C. haematocephala which will vary in colour from white to red, so best grown from cuttings.
    Robert Percy
    Nurseryman Brisbane