Flannel Bush

18 May

Flannel Bush (Fremontodendron), evergreen shrub or small tree, fast growth to 6-20 feet in height, stiff upright growth habit, 1-2 inch yellow flowers bloom spring/summer, dark green foliage, full sun to part shade, drought tolerant and deer proof. Dwarf variety and hybrids available.

Most are native to California. 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 while 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 californicum

Fremontodendron californicum

Fremontodendron californicum
Eye-catching show of lemon yellow, 1–1 1/2-in. flowers; tend to bloom all at once. Roundish, 1-in.-long, unlobed or three-lobed leaves.

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