Southern Flannel Bush
Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees, Flowers
Most fremontia are native to California. They are fast-growing plants with a typically irregular shape, reaching 20 ft. tall and 12 ft. wide except as noted. Leathery leaves are dark green above, felted beneath. Very showy, typically saucer-shaped yellow blossoms in spring. Flowers are followed by persistent conical seed capsules covered with bristly, rust-colored hairs; some people consider them unsightly, and they can irritate skin.
Plants are completely drought-tolerant and will accept occasional moisture during their normally dry period in summer only if drainage is excellent (hillside planting is recommended). Roots are shallow, so stake plants when they are young to prevent them from being blown over in windy areas. Pinch young growth to encourage branching; prune off overly long shoots. Remove lower branches to shape into small trees. Locate in front of a sunny wall in marginal climates. Plants are usually short-lived.Fremontodendron mexicanum
Endangered species from Southern California and northern Mexico. Brilliant display of orange-tinted yellow blossoms to 2 1/2 in. across. Blooms less profusely than F. californicum, but flowers appear over a longer period—from late spring well into fall. Leaves reach 3 in. long and have three to five distinct lobes.