Mexican/Southern Flannel Bush
Mexican Flannel Bush is native to Mexico and a small section of southern San Diego County. It has an erect growth habit and reaches 10 to 20 feet tall. Its leaves are 3 inches long and deeply lobed; they are deep green above and have reddish hairs on the lower surface. The yellow flowers are 3 inches wide and are often shaded with orange on the back. Mexican Flannel Bush usually blooms in spring and summer but will occasionally flower in fall and winter if the weather is warm. It is hardy to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and more cold tender than Fremontodendron californicum, the other parent used to create the popular hybrids Fremontodendron ‘California Glory’, Fremontodendron ‘’Pacific Sunset’, and Fremontodendron ‘San Gabriel’. Plant it in full sun in well-draining soil; do not give it supplemental water once it is established.
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.