1. westgatea

    westgatea Active Member

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    I have come across a vine apparently called a Fremontodendron - will it grow here? Is it worth trying? What does it look like and where is it's native land?
     
  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Fremontodendron is not a vine, but is often referred to in books on climbers and "wall shrubs." Because it thrives in warmer locations, where it is also protected from late spring frosts (a problem in the UK), and because it can be rather gangly, it is often grown against a wall.

    Fremontodendron (3 species) are native to California and Mexico. They are marginally hardy here, but in a warm spot with perfect drainage, they will produce flowers all summer. The hybrid 'California Glory' is perhaps the hardiest. Careful of the irritant hairs, please.
     
  3. donni

    donni Member

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    commonly called the flannel bush-watch out! itchy!
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes, the irritant hairs are murder. I make a point of avoiding them. 'California Glory' is what usually appears at outlets here. Since careless container culture is pandemic in the trade a fast-growing item like this is pretty much guaranteed to be root-bound when encountered and purchased at a garden center. I've managed to keep one growing in an open position for some years here, last year the flowering was terrific. But I did not mess with its roots at planting time, it soon leaned over but had not become prone or otherwise worsened noticeably. Wall training would assure that a specimen got some relief from the northern climate and that it could be kept upright.

    Another one planted on Camano Island grew up fairly high for a time only to then die. It was near, but not on a south-facing wall. Winters are colder on that site, this is probably what did it in.
     
  5. donni

    donni Member

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    very pretty when it's pretty.
     
  6. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Vines (Fremontodendron)

    There is a lovely one grown as a small 'standard' tree about 6'-8' high in the front yard of a of a house on E. 49th here in Vancouver. It seems to have survived several hard winters. It's on a south facing slope so it probably has good drainage and lots of sun. It is growing next to a stair handrail, but I don't believe the branches are supported or espallied in any way, though the trunk may be staked.
     
  7. Ian

    Ian Active Member

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    All the ones I've seen/grown of all types in Olympia and Sequim have been killed in the last few cold winters. Cold is probably the main reason although better irrigation practices (i.e. less water) and improved soil drainage might have helped. There is certainly the potential for a hardy Fremontodendron as the species F. californicum endures temperatures down to at least -10F in the wild in the coldest part of its range. Any of the hybrids could be back-crossed with a cold collection of F. californicum to hopefully produce something hardy, floriferous and not too difficult to grow. Xera Plants briefly produced a cold collection of F. californicum but discontinued it because it was supposedly difficult to grow. I tried to grow it and it promptly died. It apparently needs excellent drainage, dry summers and sun even more so than the hybrids.
     

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