Fremontodendron 'Californian Glory'
Fast growing evergreen bush with copious quantities of large yellow flowers in late spring. A fine site but fairly shapeless if left to its own devices so often trained up against a wall which works well. They don't like wet roots so being in the rain-shadow of a building (dryer beneath the gutter) works well too.
There are a number of plants from southern California that seem perfectly happy in our climate and this is one but they don't seem to last as long as in their native habitat. At first they seem to rejoice at the unaccustomed abundance of water and then - later - despair at having too much and give up the ghost. Ceanothus are much the same. This is called the Flannel Bush in California (why? no idea) and becomes quite a wide and tall shrub that's used to having no rain between March and October. I was told by a knowledgeable lady at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden that she knew of a very happy plant that her friend decided to water one day in mid-summer and it promptly died. Growing it in the rain shadow of the roof keeps it drier in this country and hence it becomes known by that peculiar expression - 'Wall Shrub'. Its branches and leaves are covered in a dusty substance called 'indumentum'. Wrap up when giving this plant a haircut - it's itchy as anything. Not toxic - just itchy. While on the subject, this always benefits from having a haircut (it becomes denser and tighter and better looking) but do it during the summer not in the autumn. Autumn pruning can cause the sap to rise and then a hard frost could be fatal.
Propagated by us from cuttings.
IF IT HAS AN AMBER TRAFFIC LIGHT
Hardy in the Home Counties if sensibly sited (avoiding severe frost pockets, for example). Many Amber Labelled Plants are from cuttings from well-established plants that have survived many harsh winters in the South-East.
This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.
Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.
General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.
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