Abundant golden blooms are really spectacular, but because of irritating foliar fuzz, flannel bush should be enjoyed from a distance.

There is no way to say it delicately. Flannel bush, Fremontodendron californicum, is not easy to work with. It grows rapidly and rampantly with awkward form to about ten feet high and broad, but then starts to deteriorate when only about twelve years old. It can deteriorate even sooner if well irrigated. The fuzz on the foliage and young stems is irritating to the skin, especially during warm weather, so is very uncomfortable to handle. Otherwise, for out of the way spots, flannel bush is a striking native plant with impressively abundant bright golden yellow bloom this time of year. Neglected plants that do not get pruned or watered seem to be happier and more colorful, and can get older and much larger.

4 thoughts on “Flannel Bush

    1. They are not easy to grow in cans. It is too much work for nurserymen who are not specialized in natives with similar cultural requirements. (It is a chaparral plant that is susceptible to rot.) That may be why it is is unpopular.

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