Fremontodendron (fremontia, flannelbush or flannel bush) is a genus of two known species of shrubs native to the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico. They have been treated within the botanical family Sterculiaceae, tribe Fremontodendreae, together with the genus Chiranthodendron, but are now included in the family Malvaceae (fide APG). The genus was named in dedication to John C. Frémont, who first collected it in 1846 in one of his expeditions.
The leaves have a leathery and fuzzy texture reminiscent of flannel (thus the name), and the yellow and orange flowers are large and showy. The leaves and young shoots can cause skin and eye irritation.
There are two species, F. californicum (Californian flannelbush), and F. mexicanum (Mexican flannelbush), and a number of populations of uncertain status. In addition, a number of hybrid cultivars have been produced, including 'California Glory', 'Ken Taylor', and 'Pacific Sunset'.
Fremontodendron are valued for their bright yellow flowers produced over a long period on a rapidly growing shrub or small tree that is tolerant of pruning for size control or shaping. The two species and many cultivars are used in water-conserving gardens in California and England. They are adapted to dry, poor soils in a summer-dry, warm, sunny climate, and may succumb to root rot in heavy soil and/or excessive moisture.
- Meyer, Susan E (2008). "Fremontodendron Coville". USDA FS Agriculture Handbook 727 - The Woody Plant Seed Manual. USDA Forest Service. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- Michael L. Charters. "Botanical Names: F". California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations. Sierra Madre, CA. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
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