Red powder puff

Family • Fabaceae / Mimosaceae - Calliandra haematocephala Hassk. - BLOOD RED TASSEL FLOWER - Mei rui hua

Scientific names

Calliandra haematocephala Hassk.
Anneslia haematocephala (Hassk.) Britton et P. Wilson
Feuileea haematocephala (Hassk.) Kuntze
Zhu ying hua (Chin.)

Common names

Blood red tassel flower (Engl.)
Red powder puff (Eng.)
Rose Cascade (Engl.)
Flor de la cruz (Span.)
Mei rui hua (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

FRENCH: Pompon.
SPANISH: Bellota.

Red powder puff

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antioxidant galloylated flavonol glycosides from Calliandra haematocephala / F A Moharran et al / Natural Product Research, Vol 20, Issue 10 August 2006 , pages 927 – 934 / DOI: 10.1080/14786410500378494

(2) Characterization and Standardization of Some Traditional Plant Drug / Sageer Ahmad Khan /

(3) Calliandra haematocephala / PIER

(4) Evaluation of the gastroprotective activity of Calliandra haematocephala extracts / A de Paula Barbosa, B Pereira da Silva, JP Parente / Planta Med 2012; 78 – PI448 / DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1321135

(5) ANTIBACTERIAL CONSTITUENTS OF CALLIANDRA HAEMATOCEPHALA / R Nia, SA Adesanya, IN Okeke, HC Illoh, SJ Adesina / Nigerian Journal of Natural Products and Medicine , Vol 3 (1999), pp 58-60.

Red powder puff2Botany
Calliandra haematocephala is a spreading well-branched shrub or small tree, growing to a height of 1 to 3 meters. Branches are brown, cylindric, and rough. Leaves are pinnately compound, oblong, acute, with 5 to 10 pairs of glossy green leaflets. Flowers are clustered in globose heads, up to 7 centimeters across. Stamens are numerous, long and silky, very brilliant, pink to red. Fruit is a dehiscent pod, dull brown, linear -oblanceolate, 6 to 11 centimeters long, 5 to 13 millimeters wide, opening along the sutures when ripe. Seeds are 5 to 6, brown and oblong.

– Ornamental cultivation; grown in gardens and parks.
– Native to tropical America.

– Fractionation of EtOAC extract of bark yielded p-hydroxybenzoic acid, caffeic acid, protocatechuic acid, astilbin, neo-isoastilbin, and catechin-3-O-rhamnoiside.
– A non-active fraction yielded lupeol and betulinic acid.

Red powder puff4Red powder puff3

– Studies with other species of the genus showed various pharmacological properties: anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, immunomodulatory, and antiulcerogenic.

• No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
• In Nigeria, roots used in the treatment of hemorrhoids.
• Elsewhere, decoction of the flowers used as blood purifier and tonic.

Study Findings
• Antioxidant / Flavonol Glycosides / Cytotoxicity: Study isolated three new acylated quercetin rhamnosides from the leaves and stems – quercitrin 2″-O-caffeate, quercitrin 3″-O-gallate and quercitrin 2″,3″-di-O-gallate – with 17 known compounds. Six compounds exhibited moderate to strong radical scavenging properties. Compounds 7 and 8 (myricitrin and quercitrin) exhibited lethal effect towards brine shrimp Artemia salina.
• Gastroprotective: Study of butanolic extract for gastroprotective effects in acute gastriclesions induced by acidified alcohol showed a gastroprotective effect with moderate control of gastric lesions and inhibition of hemorrhage and necrotic aspects of tissue injury.
• Antibacterial: Studyevaluated ethanolic extractable constituents of bark of C. haematocephala against selected bacteria. Results showed varied antibacterial activity. Fractionation yielded known compounds which showed varied antibacterial activity.