There is no way to say it delicately. Flannel bush, Fremontodendron californicum, is not easy to work with. It grows rapidly and rampantly with awkward form to about ten feet high and broad, but then starts to deteriorate when only about twelve years old. It can deteriorate even sooner if well irrigated. The fuzz on the foliage and young stems is irritating to the skin, especially during warm weather, so is very uncomfortable to handle. Otherwise, for out of the way spots, flannel bush is a striking plant with impressively abundant bright golden yellow bloom boldly in spring. Neglected plants that do not get pruned or watered seem to be happier and more colorful, and can get older and much larger.
January 7, 2014