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Products > Fremontodendron 'Ken Taylor'
 
Fremontodendron 'Ken Taylor' - Flannel Bush
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Malvaceae (w/Bombacaceae & Sterculeacea)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Golden
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Parentage: (F. californica ssp. decumbens x 'Californica Glory')
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): No Irrigation required
Winter Hardiness: 15-20° F
Fremontodendron 'Ken Taylor' (Ken Taylor Flannel Bush) - This beautiful native cultivar is smaller than most other flannel bushes but still forms a mounding shrub that can be 5 feet tall or better by about twice as wide with long arching stems holding medium green leaves. From mid spring through to the end of summer (and sometimes late into fall) appear a good display of 3 inch wide golden yellow cup-shaped flowers on year old wood that face slightly downwards, displaying well the darker orange on the outside of the petals. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil with no supplemental irrigation required once established. Summer irrigation will initially speed growth on this plant but will also greatly shorten its lifespan so best not to water when in doubt. It is frost hardy to at least 10°F and useful in USDA zone 8 and above (some report it hardier and useful down to zone 7). A great plant for planting on a slope or on other well-drained sites and its smaller size and better garden tolerance than most other cultivars, makes is useful in other locations as well and it makes a good an espalier subject as well and responds well to pruning but, as with all of the flannel bushes, it has irritating stellate hairs on the leaves and stems that can cause skin and eye irritation and for this reason should also be situated where it will not be brushed against. Its flowers are attractive to beneficial insects, bees and butterflies. Fremontodendron 'Ken Taylor' is a second generation (F2) hybrid between F. californica ssp. decumbens and F. 'Californica Glory' that was created in the late 1970s by Ken Taylor of Taylor nursery, a native plant nursery and garden in Aromas, CA and Richard Hildreth, then Director of the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation. Taylor was noted as having a fondness for bonsai and this smaller flannel bush would likely have been very appealing to him. It was introduced into the nursery trade in a joint effort between M. Nevin Smith of Wintergreen Nursery and the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum in a plant introduction program funded by the Elvenia J. Slosson Endowment for Ornamental Horticulture. The name of the genus was named in combination with the Greek word 'dendron', meaning "tree", as a dedication to John Charles Frémont (1813-1890) who first collected Fremontodendron californicum during an 1846 expedition to Alta California. The leaves have a leathery and fuzzy texture reminiscent of flannel that gives these plants their common name. We have grown this great cultivar since 2007 and also grow Fremontodendron mexicanum, Fremontodendron 'California Glory' and Fremontodendron 'Dara's Gold' This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Fremontodendron 'Ken Taylor'.
 
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