Thursday, May 1, 2014

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

Hubby was outside grilling our dinner this weekend, when he suddenly stuck his head in the door and hollered "Becky! Come here!" I thought perhaps the grill had caught on fire again. Fortunately, it had not. Instead, he pointed up the hill behind our house and asked "What the heck is that, and where did it come from?"

There before me was an itsy bitsy tree covered in pink blossoms -- one which I had never seen before, and did not plant myself.

At first I thought it must be a little fruit tree of some sort, which came to us via some bird droppings. However, once we had climbed the hill to get a closer look, we discovered that those were not the sort of blooms you see on a fruit tree. They were fuzzy pink pom-poms!

Pom-poms which I have seen before, on other scrawny little shrubs with mesquite-like leaves, which are scattered about our property. This one may have been here all along and we just never noticed it before since it was so far away, and they have never bloomed quite so prolifically as they did this year.

After consulting my native plant bible -- Jill Nokes' How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest -- I decided it must be Calliandra eriophylla, commonly known as Fairy Duster, False Mesquite, or Charrasquillo.

Fairy Duster. How appropriate!


musingegret said...

In google you're the 2nd one up when I put in "growing fairy duster in tx hill country" ! Thanks for the research; I want to get one.

musingegret said...



Corrine at said...

What a pretty surprise! xox

Hill Country Hippie said...

Thanks for YOUR research ME. I'm shocked that they say the deer like it in one of those articles. They sure didn't keep it from blooming like crazy!