Fremontodendron californicum flannel bush
Best known in shrub form in highway planting, where its large, bright yellow blossoms are unmistakable. As you travel west on Junipero Serra Boulevard approaching Alpine Road, see big ones on the right just before crossing the bridge over San Francisquito Creek. Two others are on the berm on Santa Teresa Street at the corner with Los Arboles Avenue and a small one is at 860 Tolman Drive.
The small lobed leaves, which are up to 2 inches long, green above and pale felt below, have a velvety feel. Loma Prieta is the nearest point to Stanford where flannel bush is native. The plant is named for John Frémont (1813–1890), who was active in California at the time of the assault on Mexican authority and was elected state senator in 1850.
Related material: Stanford Grounds Plant Information Sheet. List No. 11, p. 7.
About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Family updated from Sterculiaceae to Malvaceae Aug 2019 (SP).