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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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Arroyo Grande, California (2 reports)

Big Sur, California

Bootjack, California

Carpinteria, California

Crockett, California

Elk Grove, California

Livermore, California

Manhattan Beach, California

Miramonte, California

Pleasanton, California

San Francisco, California

San Mateo, California

Vacaville, California

Walnut Creek, California

Winchester, California

Woodland Hills, California

Ashland, Oregon

Seattle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 2, 2015, lancer23 from San Francisco, CA wrote:

This plant is a tree in San Francisco, CA. I don't know why you guy stated it's a vine in the UK. It roots easily; you need semi hard wood, meaning mature wood but not completely hard. It grows very easily here in our dry summer. It doesn't like rain in the summer and we never water it so that's why its native to this area. If there's a negative it got to be the hair it produces, and it fall on you like a cover of dust if you touch it and knock it off from the branches and leaves. You cloths get dirty, not to mention your face and skin.


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.


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..


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... read more


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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!


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.


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'.


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 !


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.