what's blooming in december

  • Botanical Name:

    Calliandra haematocephala

    Common Name:

    Red Powder Puff Tree

    Family:

    Fabaceae

    Native Region:

    Bolivia

    Description:

    Calliandra haematocephala has scarlet balls of flowers that resemble pompons or powder puffs. Calliandra comes from the Greek words kallos, meaning beauty, and andros, meaning stamen (male flower organ). In bud, the flower heads appear to look like raspberries, but soon evolve into delicate spikes of scarlet colored stamens. Calliandra haematocephala has characteristic bean-like fruits as other members of the Bean Family, Fabaceae. Look for Calliandra haematocephala when you enter the Tropical Memorial Conservatory as you approach the pond. Also, notice Calliandra haematocephala ‘Alba’, a white cultivar of the Powder Puff Tree just beyond.

    Garden Location:

    Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory
  • Botanical Name:

    Euphorbia pulcherrima

    Common Name:

    Poinsettia

    Family:

    Euphorbiaceae

    Native Region:

    Mexico

    Description:

    This plant was introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel R. Poinsett, the first United States ambassador to Mexico. The widespread belief that poinsettias are poisonous is a misconception. The showy colored parts of poinsettias that most people think are the flowers are actually colored bracts (modified leaves). The wild species consists of inconspicuous yellow flowers surrounded by large brilliant red bracts. Thanks to intensive breeding programs, we now have poinsettias in a wide color palette to choose from.

    Garden Location:

    The Orangery