A flowering fremontia always stops people in their tracks – just as well, as you don't want to touch it! The orange-flushed bright yellow flowers seem made of wax; they later turn into interesting capsules. Notice how the fresh stems and leaves are bright green, while older stems are reddish brown and the leaves leathery. Unfortunately, both leaves and capsules are covered with fine hairs that irritate the skin if touched.
Fremontias – also known as Flannel Bush – can range from low sprawling shrubs to 25' trees, depending on selection, with F. californicum tending to be lower than F. mexicanum. Our ‘San Gabriel’ selection is a cross between the two, and has reached 10' high in under 3 years. Whereas our ‘San Gabriel’ bloomed in April, our californicum is still offering up a few blooms in late June.
Evergreen, Fremontias enjoy sun and tend to hate summer water once established; excellent drainage makes them slightly more tolerant. Given all their traits, they make an excellent back-of-garden showpiece.