Shrubby, branching South American native topped in summer and fall with many open, fluffy clusters of pink or white flowers with extremely long, protruding stamens. Slender seed capsules follow the blossoms. Stems usually have short, strong spines; lower leaves are divided, upper ones undivided. Leaves and stems feel clammy to the touch; they have a strong but not unpleasant smell. Deer resistant.
Plant grows 46 feet tall, 45 feet wide; especially vigorous in warm, dry inland areas. Grow in background, as summer hedge, against walls or fences, in large containers; orsince plants self-sow to a faultnaturalize in fringe areas of garden. Flowers and dry seed capsules are useful in arrangements.
Sow seeds in place in spring; they sprout rapidly in warm soil. A number of selections can be grown from seed. In most cases color is indicated by the selection's name: 'Cherry Queen', 'Mauve Queen', 'Pink Queen', 'Purple Queen', 'Rose Queen', 'Ruby Queen'. 'Helen Campbell' is snow white. The Sparkler series includes bushy dwarf hybrids to 34 feet tall, in a full range of colors. 'Senorita Rosalita' is a thornless, nonsticky, seedless hybrid that grows 3-5 feet high and is covered from spring to fall with lavender-pink flowers. It does not get leafless legs like the older selections. 'Senorita Blanca' is the white form.