Friday, July 23, 2010

Fremontodendron californicum

California Flannelbush - Fremontodendron californicum

Found up canyons and in washes, Fremont- odendron californicum is on of the Mojave's floral treats. Blooming in summer, it's flowers are strikingly yellow, which contrasts strongly with the deep, waxy green of the foliage. The flowers are unusual, in that the showy parts are not in fact petals, but sepals. In fact, the flowers are completely without petals. After pollination, the flowers turn into large, woody capsules, which are covered in stiff hairs. These hairs give the plant its common name, and provide a painful deterrent to any animal seeking to attack the seeds.

Flannel bush is a fire following species, pioneering areas that have been recently burned. Thus, it is a popular plant for reclamation in areas where it is naturally range, which consists of the majority of California. After fires, these plants will establish quickly, holding together the soil and protecting it.

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