Surinam Powderpuff
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Surinam Powderpuff
E Introduced Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Surinam Powderpuff, Pink Powder Puff, Surinamese Stickpea
Botanical name: Calliandra surinamensis    Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family)
Synonyms: Calliandra tenuiflora, Acacia fasciculata, Inga fasciculata

Surinam Powderpuff is a low branching evergreen tropical shrub that is named after the country Suriname. South America. The plant usually has complexly branched multiple trunks and grows to a height of about 5 m, although generally it grows only to 3 m. The leaves are double compound. Each pair of leaflets, or pinnae, are in turn divided into about six pairs of leaflets, pinnules. Flowers are borne as spherical heads with small green petals and calyx with up to a 100 stamens more or less united into a tube. The stamens are long, hairlike, colorful and protrude well beyond the petals. The plant flowers all year round with definite more prolific periods. The flowers are short lived and sticky and thus tend to make a mess underneath it. The numerous colourful stamens are white towards the base and pink towards the top. It is the stamens and anthers that give the flower the appearance of a pink powder puff. Fruit is a 4 cm long pod.

Identification credit: Aarti Khale Photographed in Lalbagh, Bangalore.

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