Fremontodendron californicum
Photo by Flickr user Wendy Cutler

flannel bush

This plant grows well in the following regions:

  • CVCentral Valley
  • DTDesert
  • NCNorth and Central Coast
  • SCSouth Coast
Map of regions (click to enlarge)
map of California regions



Fast-growing and usually short-lived. Native to dry woodlands, canyons, and mountain slopes of California. Typically grows 20 ft. tall and 12 ft. wide. Rounded dark green leaves that are felted on the underside. These bristly, rust-colored hairs will penetrate and irritate skin, so be sure to where gloves when pruning and locate away from paths and patios. Plant in front of a sunny wall in marginal climates. Excellent on dry hillsides. Will bloom heavily in spring, even when young.

Easily killed by over-watering. Will accept occasional light irrigation during summer only if drainage is excellent. Roots are shallow, so stake while young to prevent being blown over in windy areas. Prune off overly long shoots.

Several cultivars of various sizes exist, including 'California Glory', 'Dara's Gold', 'Ken Taylor', 'Pacific Sunset', and 'San Gabriel'. These cultivars are hybrids between F. californicum and F. mexicanum, the southern flannel bush, which is an endangered species from Southern California and northern Mexico.

Sun needs:

  • Full sun

Water needs:

  • Very low water
Water needs information from WUCOLS unless otherwise noted