Fremontodendron californicum

California/Northern Flannel Bush

Found on dry, often granitic, slopes in the chaparral, this large shrub usually grows 20 to 30 feet tall and wide. It is covered with a stunning profusion of large, bright gold flowers in the spring. Flannel Bush is related to Cocoa Bean and Cola Nut plants. Plant it in full sun in soil which drains well. This plant is very drought-tolerant. It is a good specimen shrub which provides a mass of color in the spring. Any pruning should be done early and often.

Wildlife value: Ground-feeding birds eat the large black seeds. The fragrant flowers attract butterflies and other insects and insectivorous birds. Deer browse the foliage.

Uses: A tea made from the bark relieves throat irritation. The inner bark may be used as a poultice on wounds.