Friday, December 30, 2011

Fremontodendron

Fremontodendron

A genus consisting of 3 evergreen small trees and shrubs that are native to southwest North America. They are the hardiest members of the Steruliaceae family which is common in the tropics. The Flannel Bushes existed for over 80 million years and were once widespread.
They love mediterranean climates with hot dry summers, but can be grown in cooler maritime regions against a protected south facing wall. It is recommended to not water established plants during the summer as it will reduce flowering and make them less winter hardy. Too much fertilizer can also do the same. They also do not like root disturbance. The Flannel Bushes are very easy to grow in climates resembling their native habitat - if they are left alone.
They can be pruned after flowering. They bloom on previous season wood so pruning from autumn through spring will reduce blooming.
The Flannel Bushes can be reproduced from seed and cuttings whether softwood or semi-ripe when taken.

* excellent video found on Youtube


Fremontodendron californicum ( Flannel Bush )
A very fast growing, rounded-crowned, evergreen, large shrub to small tree, that is native to mountainous parts of California and in Arizona. Some records include: 10 years - 26 x 26 feet; largest on record - 35 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.7 feet.
The leathery, pointed-oval to rounded leaves, up to 5 ( rarely over 2.5 ) inches in length, are rough, dull deep green.
The bright yellow flowers, up to 4 inches across, are borne from late spring until autumn frosts, though often not continuously if weather conditions are not favorable.
The bark is furrowed.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 ( 7b on very protected sites ). It can be grown far north of its natural range in the coastal zone, even as far north as Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada.

* photos taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos


Fremontodendron 'California Glory'
A fast growing, evergreen large shrub to small tree, reaching around 20 feet, that is a hybrid between Fremontodendron californicum & F. mexicanum. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 6 feet; 5 years - 20 x 13 feet; 10 years - 26 x 20 ( averaging 16 ) feet; largest on record - 50 x 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 11 inches.
The golden-yellow flowers, up to 4 inches across, are borne all summer long in the British Isles, during most of spring in California.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 ( hardier on protected sites, with even reports of surviving -5 F planted on a south facing wall ) in full sun on very well drained soil. Propagation is from stem tip cuttings taken during early summer.

* video of record sized tree found on Youtube


Fremontodendron decumbens ( Pine Hill Flannel Bush )
A very attractive, low, spreading evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 4 x 13 feet, that is native to a single location in the Sierra Nevada Mountains east of Sacramento. It is nearly extinct in the wild and is among the rarest plants in all North America. It may have potential as a mass groundcover for commercial sites.
The shallow to deeply-lobed, oval to rounded leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are deep green above, pale green beneath.
The rich-orange flowers, up to 2 inches across, are borne spring through autumn.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 ( no leaf burn at 12 F, possibly hardy below 10 F ), thriving where average annual precipitation ranged from 24 to 48 inches. It requires in full sun on very well drained soil including sand. Wild plants should never be tampered with and this plant is endangered, there are nurseries legal propagating this plant...one excellent sales venue being Las Pilitas Nursery in California.

Fremontondendron 'El Dorado Gold'
Dwarf in habit but still fast growing, reaching a maximum size of 6 x 12 feet. It can be used as a tall groundcover. It is the hybrid between Fremontodendron decumbens & F. 'California Glory'
The smaller sized leaves are deep green.
The bright orange flowers are up to 3 inches wide. Hardy zones 8 to 10.

Fremontodendron 'Ken Taylor'
A fast growing, medium-sized, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 13 x 12 feet, that is a hybrid between Fremontia californica and F. mexicanum.
The intense orangish-yellow flowers, up to 3 inches across, are borne late spring to early autumn.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 ( tolerating as low as 5 F ) in full sun on very well drained soil.

Fremontodendron mexicanum ( Mexican Flannel Bush )
A large evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 20 feet, that is native from San Diego, California through the Baja Peninsula. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 8 feet.
The leaves, up to 4 x 3 inches, are mid-green.
The golden-yellow flowers, up to 3.5 inches across, are borne late spring through summer.
Hardy zones 8 to 11 ( tolerating as low as 10 F ) in full sun to partial shade on very well drained soil. It will thrive in regions with as little as 20 inches of average annual precipitation.

Fremontodendron 'Pacific Sunset'
A very fast growing, evergreen small tree, reaching a maximum size of 30 x 20 feet, that is a hybrid between Fremontia californica and F. mexicanum.
The abundant flowers, up to 4 inches wide, are orange-yellow.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 in full sun on very well drained soil.

* video found on Youtube


Fremontodendron 'Sam Gabriel'
An evergreen large shrub to small tree, reaching a maximum height of 25 feet, that is a hybrid between Fremontia californica and F. mexicanum.
Some records include: 10 years - feet; largest on record - feet.
The deeply-lobed, large leaves are mid-green.
The abundant flowers are yellow with some red tinges.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 in full sun on very well drained soil

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