Fremontodendron mexicanum

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Species Name: Fremontodendron mexicanum
Common Name: Mexican flannel bush

Large showy Flannelbush with a long bloom season. Threatened by urbanization, state listed rare and federally endangered. Requires sharp drainage. Should have no summer water once established.

Plant Family: Sterculiaceae
Plant Type: Shrub
Height by Width: 15-30' H x 15' W
Growth Habit: Upright, arching
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Preference: Well-draining, rocky
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant
Cold Hardy to: 20-25 degrees F
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color: Golden yellow
Endangered?: List 1B/RED 3-3-2
Distribution: Peninsular Ranges (Orange, San Diego, Southwest Imperial County)
Natural Habitat: Chaparral, canyons from 1000-3300'

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Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "A rare species from San Diego County and Lower California, introduced into cultivation by ourselves in 1919, and now one of the most popular of the native shrubs. Of taller and more upright growth than the preceding species, and with larger, more deeply lobed leaves. The flowers are also more bowl-shaped and not arranged so closely on the stems. The blossoms are large, often 3 to 4 inches across, orange yellow and reddish brown on the under side. The shrubs commence to bloom early in the spring and continue well on into the summer. Requires a well drained soil. Gallon cans, 75c; 5 gallon cans, $2.00."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.