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Fremontodendron californicum (California flannelbush)
Hardie-Scott, Linda

Fremontodendron californicum

Fremontodendron californicum (Torr.) Coville

California Flannelbush, Northern Flannelbush, Northern Fremontia, California Slippery Elm

Sterculiaceae (Cacao Family)

Synonym(s): Fremontia californica, Fremontia californica ssp. crassifolia, Fremontia californica ssp. obispoensis, Fremontia californica var. diegensis, Fremontia californica var. integra, Fremontia californica var. napensis, Fremontia californica var. typica, Fremontia californica var. viridis, Fremontia crassifolia, Fremontia napensis, Fremontia obispoensis, Fremontodendron californicum ssp. californicum, Fremontodendron californicum ssp. crassifolium, Fremontodendron californicum ssp. napense, Fremontodendron californicum ssp. obispoense

USDA Symbol: FRCA6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

California flannelbush is an open, spreading shrub, usually to 12 ft., with olive-green, felted leaves. The large, yellow flowers are in great showy masses and tend to bloom one at a time.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 30 feet tall, usually much shorter.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec
Bloom Notes: Sepals usually yellow, lobes sometimes red at bases and margins.


Native Distribution: Most of CA, c. AZ & Baja CA
Native Habitat: Dry, granitic, north slopes; 3000 to 6000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Dry, well-drained, granitic soils.
Conditions Comments: Drought-tolerant. Fast-growing to 5 ft. Not for deer areas.


Use Other: Wood used for spears and cordage by Native Americans.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings.
Seed Collection: Collect when the capsules begin to split.
Seed Treatment: Seeds require scarification in hot water followed by cold-moist stratification at 35 degrees for 12-16 weeks to obtain germination.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Fremontodendron californicum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Fremontodendron californicum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Fremontodendron californicum


Record Modified: 2022-10-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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