Anybody growing it in the Seattle area? I went to Kruckeberg Botanic Garden in Shoreline Saturday. they had a gorgeous blooming Fremontodendron in a huge wood planter placed directly on the ground. It looked like it had been there for decades, squashed in with a conifer that probably drank all the water. It was significantly shaded, and protected in a clearing in the woods. I googled it- by the looks of the flowers it might be 'Pacific Sunset" cultivar, because it has orange bases. I am thinking of trying it on a dry rock wall where I do not water, with a Ceanothus and Arizona Cork Fir that are already there, and seem quite happy. Any advice for a drooling "zone pusher"?
Professor Kruckeberg was a UW botanist (wrote Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific NW), and his wife got totally into plant propagation, they raised their family in Shoreline and she started the Ms K nursery, mostly natives I think. They donated the huge property to be a Botanic Garden. They planted all kinds of odd trees and shrubs, and it is all huge now, and overgrown, but LABELED. Not at all the usual manicured Botanic Garden. A large staff of volunteers still propagates and sells whatever strikes their fancy, natives and exotics. Plan an afternoon there, you will want to chat, walk down the ravine, they have tree saplings for sale down there, as well as all the stuff up top. Google it and use the map, it is a bit hard to find, in a residential neighborhood not far from the Edmonds ferry. No parking except on the street, and bring boxes for the stuff you WILL buy. If you go this weekend maybe you can admire the Flannel Bush.
I worked somewhat loosely with Dr. Kruckeberg in the early 70s, and he was always a very cordial and interesting person, unlike many of the other UW professors... I've never been to his gardens - must make a trip down.
There are a few Fremontodendrons in Vancouver, BC. They seem to prosper in locations with excellent soil drainage that is sandy in a somewhat protected spot in good sun. 'California Glory' is the one that we see most commonly around here. Watch out for the brown fuzz on the stems and leaves as it irritates the skin.
Fremontodendron 'California Glory' - English Bay, Vancouver, BC
thanks Growin! You are always so helpful and I love your photos. My soil is clay on a hill, but I could dump some sand and a bag of commercial "soil" in a bottomless planter, and see what happens. The 'California Glory' is gorgeous. I think I will order one online.