Friday, March 20, 2009

Fantastic Fremontodendron - First Flower


Finally my baby California Flannel Bush (Fremontodendron californicum) has bloomed. Above is its first flower ever.

These drought tolerant, deer resistent native shrubs can grow to be 6-10 feet across, but I think I've seen some larger.

I've caged it because I've learned from experience that you have to cage all babies. Deer totally stripped the last one I tried.

It is not fire resistent. I planted it way down far from the house. Also people can be allergic to the foliage so you should put it where you don't have to do much pruning or brush past it.

But it does bloom profusely in spring with these large yellow flowers and I am so happy this one is growing well. And the foliage is very interesting. New leaves are rosy and then they turn a grayish green.


I put mine where it can provide some screening from the road, not that it's a busy road, and also to provide nice color for neighborhood walkers to enjoy, when it - hopefully- grows large.

Here's a shot to show placement - picture is a bit busy but - The plant (between stakes holding the chickenwire cage) is a few feet away from the fence between me and my neighbor on the right - who is an avid grower of palms and fruit trees and other interesting things. You can see the nose of a truck on the road below to the left. And coyote brush seedlings all around - I'm going to have to hoe those up unfortunately. That's what happens when you clear chaparral - the seed bank just explodes with life.

7 comments:

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Wow, what a cool-looking shrub! Being from Michigan. I've never seen or even heard of the California flannel bush--I love the leaves and the flower is nice, too. Natives rule!

lostlandscape said...

Congrats on the first flowers! It's nice of you to share with the neighbors and people passing by on the road. I just planted one yesterday in what I hope will be a perfect spot--I didn't know any better 15 years ago and tried it in hardpan clay with zero drainage, with sad results. Yours seems to like the spot you've given it.

Town Mouse said...

All right! Take that, Bambi...

Donna at Suburban Sanctum said...

What a pretty flower--and an interesting name! Is it fuzzy as "flannel" would suggest? The reddish leaf almost looks like it could be, but the green one looks pretty glossy. Just wonderin'...

Country Mouse said...

Hi Donna - The leaves are not shiny, they are quite matte in appearance - flanelly may be. But sculptural, and a nice shade of green-gray.

Regarding good spot to grow - It's at the bottom of a slope but just above a six foot drop down to the road, and the soil is sandy and thin, with bedrock not far below. I think it should be a good match for its requirements. Hope so anyway!

Genevieve said...

Oh, I love these, and I've had the same experience with those dratted deer. They won't pester an older shrub but they'll nibble off all the tender leaves on a baby - babies of nearly anything as you point out.

donna said...

I don't know a darn thing about CA native plants but I'm enjoying your photos and what you tell us about the plants. Would be so nice to be driving/walking by and see these beautiful big yellow flowers.