This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “40 Plants You (Probably) Have Never Heard of – But Will Love,” 40 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region but hard to find.
San Gabriel flannel bush
Fremontodendron X ‘San Gabriel’
Size: Up to 18 feet tall by 12 feet wide
Bloom season: Large 4-inch yellow flowers in spring
Exposure: Full sun
Pruning needs: None except to shape as desired; beware hairs that can irritate skin.
Water needs: Absolutely no water once established
Snapshot: Any time of year is flannel season for this California native bush. This spectacular and fast-growing large shrub has upward-arching branches that are covered in colorful yellow flowers in spring. The lobed leaves have an attractive maplelike shape with brownish hairs. (Watch out for that fuss – it can prickle.) Flannel bush needs reasonable drainage – it won’t tolerate standing water – and is perfect for the ultra-low water garden. Once established (after two years), it needs no irrigation at all. Now, that’s a water saver!
For more on “40 Plants,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.