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(Calliandra calothyrsus)

Calliand - illustration
  • shrub or tree legume for humid tropics
  • resistant to leucaena psyllid
  • prefers light soils without waterlogging
  • adapted to acid soils
  • less palatable than leucaena.


Calliandra calothyrsus Meissn. -
1 flowering branch,
2 branch with fruits.


This shrub legume has received more attention for the tropical regions since the psyllid devastated stands of leucaena, but also because it can grow in high rainfall areas and on acid soils.

Although less palatable than leucaena due to the presence of tannins, it is still well accepted, and has produced good growth rates in cattle; the leaf has high digestibility when freshly cut, but palatability and digestibility decline markedly when it is dried.

Caliandra has use in the developing tropics under a cut-and-carry system where leucaena has been devastated by the psyllid.

Seedlings are difficult to establish and must be treated as an agricultural crop to start growth.

Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 18 April 1998  Revised: 15 January 2003

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