Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: California Flannel Bush, California Fremontia
Fremontodendron californicum

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Fremontodendron (free-mon-toh-DEN-dron) (Info)
Species: californicum (kal-ih-FOR-nik-um) (Info)

Synonym:Fremontia californica
Synonym:Fremontia crassifolia
Synonym:Fremontia napensis
Synonym:Fremontia obispoensis

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Winter


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 13 photos.
Click here to view them all!


11 positives
2 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bazzah On Jul 22, 2013, bazzah from humberston
United Kingdom wrote:

I staggered upon one of these a good few years ago in a garden centre and not seen one since. i bought it never seeing one before and it stated may not be hardy of cold conditions. my plant is beautiful. i have it in a container and tend to move it around the garden or patio depending on the weather and it always displayed glorious wax like flowers nearly as big as my hand. everyone who sees it wants it and i do not know where to tell them to get one from, i have tried several times to take cuttings without success and even tried the huge seed husk but to no avail.... does anyone have any good tips on taking cuttings for this plant? sometimes during damp spells the shrub gives off a tobacco kind of smell is this natural? thanks.

Positive stephenp On Jul 15, 2012, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

In the UK there are rarely many plants to be negative about, and this is certainly one to be positive about. Grown in the local botanic gardens, they have trained this against a wall, so basically it's a climber, but it does very well, remaining evergreen in winter. Usually here this flowers in late Spring, around May, not sure if this is normal, but this year flowering has been a little thin, due to the cool, wet summer.

When it is in bloom though it is definitely eye catching..

Positive gunneruk On May 13, 2012, gunneruk from Worcester Park, Surrey
United Kingdom wrote:

I just wanted to share this with you.... I bought a California Glory circa 11 years ago when it was about 2ft high. I live near London in the UK and having lived in California for a number of years, bought this plant purely for it's name. In the 2nd year I planted it in the ground on a south facing wall and over the years it grew into a tree with a trunk - 6 inches in diameter and a height of circa 18ft. It was in a windy position and took a few years to securely root itself - I had no idea that it would be so beautiful! Yes it was awful to prune and quite messy, but so pretty when in full bloom - it was certainly well worth it. Unfortunately this week (hence my finding this website) it seems to be dying. We have had some unusual weather here the past few years and have just had the hottest March and the wettest April in history, maybe this has something to do with it's current condition. I did read that it is a shortlived plant, so maybe it's just that it's time is up! I will wait another week or two before I do anything - just to make sure. It will be a sad occasion, but I have decided that I will go straight out and buy another one and hope that I will get to see that lovely tree by our front gate again. I have over the years taken a number of pictures of it in it's "Glory" and can honestly say I have never seen one so big or beautiful anywhere else in the UK. It has made me so proud!

Positive plantations On Oct 9, 2010, plantations from Ashland, OR wrote:

I am growing our second Fremontodendron 'California Glory' (first one lived for many years but then died after my husband reduced it & I suspect it didn't have the foliage to take up the extra water that it received) but they grow here, at 3,000 ft. & easily survived our 12 degree winter last year! I picked quite a few seed pods off this year & will try to propagate from seed. Beware the fuzz though!

Positive otter47 On Mar 26, 2010, otter47 from Livermore, CA wrote:

The city park department planted fremontodendrons along an arroyo in my neighborhood in unimproved soil The plants get only the natural rainfall in winter and absolutely no supplemental water in summer. They are stunning when in bloom.

Positive terrora On May 24, 2009, terrora wrote:

I found one at last! I am going to grow it in a large pot and train it on a lattice. So far so good, it gets really hot here in Vacaville, CA and should do great. I used coarse sand mixed in with a good amending soil. I have the pot on planter footies to guarantee excellent drainage. Wish me luck!

update 9-21-09; My bush is doing okay, no new growth or flowers. But, since I have watered it deeply once a month it is greening up and I believe new leaves are forming. I'm thinking; in a pot it needs regular watering as long as it has drainage. My pot is on pot feet, I'm able to water it every three weeks. It gets sun all day and loves it.

Positive anelson77 On May 3, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

Planted a tiny 3 leaf seedling 2 years ago which is now a 6 ft shrub. It is in the hottest place in the yard, in a fast draining raised bed with shallow soil. Last summer it flowered profusely all summer. It stayed evergreen all winter and survived last winters unusually harsh and sudden freezes with minor twig damage. Now it is covered with buds.

Positive dubliner On Sep 17, 2005, dubliner from Cave Creek, AZ wrote:

I grew this plant in my garden in Malahide Co. Dublin, in Ireland. I even moved it from one house to the other without problems. Now living in Cave Creek Arizona and would love to try it here.

Negative DavidWootton On Feb 27, 2005, DavidWootton from Hamilton
Canada (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've tried softwood cutting after softwood cutting and have had absolutely no success. I've searched the internet on details for propagating this plant by cuttings but so far, no success. Simply starting it by cuttings is not enough information for this plant.

Frustrated in Ontario

Positive bethywethyj On Jun 22, 2004, bethywethyj from Vancouver
Canada wrote:

Came across Flannel Bush at nursery. Never heard of it before. Was a scrawny 5ft pole with some branches for $10 - now 4th summer in garden and WOW. People always ask about it. Not a common plant in Vancouver. Seems to like our VERY wet winters and dry summers as you can see in the photo I posted.

Update May 2005

Flannel Bush has died for unknown reasons - winter wasn't colder or wetter than usual. Very disappointed.
Positive castroa On Jun 15, 2004, castroa from San Mateo, CA wrote:

I love this plant! Fast growing, showy, lovely foliage and I don't give it a drop of water in San Mateo, CA (Sunset zone 17). Easy to shape. But yes, beware the fuzz!

Neutral wilf On Mar 28, 2004, wilf wrote:

i have seen this growing as a tree in London, England. Will try and post picture.
Nice tree but be very careful pruning and wear protective goggles.
Havn't had the pleasure of seeing it in bloom yet.

Neutral BethallynB On Nov 14, 2003, BethallynB from Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

Grows rapidly with good drainage, but is short-lived if watered in summer. Beautful bloom, interesting 'felted' foliage. Great plant in the right place, ideal with Ceanothus 'DarkStar'.

Positive Lucinda On Oct 14, 2002, Lucinda wrote:

Yes the hairs are an irritant but the plant grows so quickly, is easy to shape, flowers for a long period and doesn't need much water. It really is beautiful !

Negative sueone On May 15, 2002, sueone from Weymouth, Dorset
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

Although this is a lovely plant and flowers for a long time, the hairs on the stems and leaves are a skin irritant - after pruning this one you'll need to strip right off and shower! Be very careful to wear goggles too, as it's painful if they get in your eyes. Apart from that, it's certainly worth growing if you have a warm wall.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Arroyo Grande, California (2 reports)
Big Sur, California
Bootjack, California
Crockett, California
Elk Grove, California
Livermore, California
Manhattan Beach, California
Miramonte, California
San Mateo, California
Vacaville, California
Walnut Creek, California
Winchester, California
Woodland Hills, California
Ashland, Oregon
Seattle, Washington

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