- Author: Jackie Woods
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Jackie Woods UCCE Master Gardener
Planting areas: does well in dry, well-drained sandy soils as well as chalky, nutritionally poor soil.
Size: can grow as tall as 20 feet and as wide as 20 feet under ideal conditions.
Bloom season: late spring to summer.
Exposure: prefers full sun.
Pruning needs: avoid hard pruning. Cutting into the wood will often kill this shrub.
Water needs: water until established otherwise low water requirement; drought-tolerant.
Narrative: Fremontia is a fast-growing evergreen shrub with fuzzy leaves that lends to its common name of flannel bush. Native to the Southwest (California, Arizona, Mexico) this shrub is drought-tolerant with a shallow root system. The fuzz on its leaves is easily brushed off upon contact and can be a skin and eye irritant. This shrub explodes with bright, showy and intense yellow flowers from spring to summer which attracts bees and butterflies. Landscape companion plants that would add to the show-stopper effect of Fremontia include Salvia (purple flowers), Ceanothus (blue flowers) and Manzanita (light pink flowers). This plant grows in an unruly shape so if space is not an issue, allow this plant to do its own thing and the reward will be a massive amount of gorgeous bright yellow flowers. If space is limited, pruning this shrub is best done in late summer or early fall which will allow for fast healing of pruned surfaces. Be careful to only prune crowded sections, damaged branches or diseased growth. Once established, Fremontia has a low water requirement, a very attractive trait for a drought-tolerant landscape./span>