Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Global Range: Found in Imperial, Kern, Monterey, and San Diego Counties, California and Baja California, Mexico (Smith and Berg, 1988). According to the California Natural Diversity Database, Fremontodendron mexicanum is distributed from the border south to Arroyo Seco (North of San Quintin) in Mexico.
U.S.A. (CA), Mexico
Fremontodendron mexicanum can be characterized by leaves palmately 5-7 veined from base; glands at base of sepals glabrous; flowers 6-9 cm across, borne on main twigs; seeds shining, without caruncle (Munz, 1974).
Catalog Number: US 763808
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): A. Davidson
Year Collected: 1917
Locality: Near Ensenada, Baja California Norte, Mexico, North America
Comments: Slopes covered with southern mixed chaparral, closed cone coniferous forest dominated by Tecate cypress (Cupressus forbesii), and canyons. 300-1000 m elevation.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Comments: Twelve, only one of which (Cedar Canyon in United States) has been recently reverified (Fish and Wildlife Service 1995). Ten in the United States; two in Mexico, at least one of which may have been extirpated by a major flood (Rieser 1994 as cited in USFWS 1995). As of 2001, more occurrences of Fremontodendron mexicanum were found in California.
Life History and Behavior
Persistence: PERENNIAL, Long-lived
When fully ripened, the capsule splits open at the tip and the seed are cast from the plant when shaken by wind, hail, or animal disturbances.
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
Rounded National Status Rank: N1 - Critically Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Fremontodendron mexicanum is known with certainty only from southern San Diego County, California and south into Arroyo Seco (North of San Quintin) Baja California, Mexico. The plants have been relocated recently at only one of the twelve known sites despite searches of at least some of the historic locales. The California population is thought to contain fewer than one hundred individuals. The Bureau of Land Management specifically manages its land for this population; the Area of Critical Environmental Concern and the Research Natural Area, on which about 50% of the plant's habitat lies, were designated for the preservation of F. mexicanum. The species is likely susceptible to adverse genetic effects due to the low number of remaining individuals. Another primary threat is from altered fire regimes.
Date Listed: 10/13/1998
Lead Region: California/Nevada Region (Region 8)
Listing status: E
For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Fremontodendron mexicanum, see its USFWS Species Profile
Comments: The species is likely susceptible to adverse genetic effects because of the low number of individuals in the population (est. <100). Another primary threat is from altered fire regimes as a result of various human-caused fires. Fires that occur at longer or shorter intervals than the natural cycle or during reproductive seasons may imperil the species (Fish and Wildlife Service 1998).
Fremontodendron mexicanum is a rare species of shrub in the mallow family known by the common names Mexican flannelbush, Mexican fremontia, and Southern flannelbush, that is endemic to the central Peninsular Ranges in Mexico and the United States.
The species is known from about ten occurrences in northern Baja California state and adjacent southern San Diego County, California. However, it has most recently been confirmed to exist in only two of those locales currently. In 1993, fewer than 100 individuals were thought to exist. In the United States it is a federally listed endangered species.
Fremontodendron mexicanum is an erect, flowering shrub or multi-trunked small tree reaching 6–15 feet (1.8–4.6 m) high, with branches spreading to 10 feet (3.0 m) wide. 
The leathery and furry olive green leaves are up to 5 centimeters long and divided into several wide lobes.
The solitary flowers, each about 6 centimeters wide, appear spread along the branches. The showy flowers are made up of five bright orange sepals and have no true petals.
Fremontodendron mexicanum is cultivated as an ornamental plant by specialty plant nurseries, for planting in native plant, drought tolerant, and wildlife gardens, and in natural landscaping and habitat restoration projects.  
Cultivated plants need good drainage, and no supplemental summer water when established. 
There are several named hybrids of Fremontodendron mexicanum and Fremontodendron californicum in the horticultural trade, they include:
- Fremontodendron 'California Glory' — lemon-yellow flowers with a reddish tinge, grows 20 feet (6.1 m) in height by 20 feet (6.1 m) in width. It is the winner of the Award of Garden Merit from the California Horticultural Society in 1965, and received a First Class Certificate from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1967. 
- Fremontodendron 'Ken Taylor' — golden flowers with a darker orange outside petals in the spring and summer, and grows to only 5 feet (1.5 m) in height by 8–10 feet (2.4–3.0 m) in width. 
- Fremontodendron 'Dara's Gold' — golden flowers over a long period from late winter through early summer, grows 3 feet (0.91 m) in height by 6–8 feet (1.8–2.4 m) in width. A hybrid between Fremontodendron decumbens and Fremontodendron mexicanum. 
- California Native Plant Society Rare Plant Profile
- Center for Plant Conservation
- Federal Register October 3, 2006.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower.org: Fremontodendron mexicanum
- Las Pilitas Horticultural Database: Fremontodendron mexicanum (Mexican Flannel Bush)
- Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.
- Theodore Payne Foundation, California Natives Wiki: Fremontodendron mexicanum
- San Marcos Growers: Fremontodendron 'California Glory'
- San Marcos Growers: Fremontodendron 'Ken Taylor'
- San Marcos Growers: Fremontodendron 'Dara's Gold'
- CalFlora Database: Fremontodendron mexicanum (Mexican flannelbush, Southern flannelbush, Mexican fremontia)
- Jepson Manual Treatment of Fremontodendron mexicanum
- USDA Plants Profile for Fremontodendron mexicanum (Mexican flannelbush)
- The Nature Conservancy
- Fremontodendron mexicanum — UC Photos gallery
- Media related to Fremontodendron hybrids at Wikimedia Commons
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