Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Fremontodendron californicum

Introductory

SPECIES: Fremontodendron californicum
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Pavek, Diane S. 1993. Fremontodendron californicum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].
ABBREVIATION : FRECAL SYNONYMS : Fremontia californica Torr. [33] SCS PLANT CODE : FRCA6 COMMON NAMES : flannelbush California fremontia California slippery-elm mountain leatherwood TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of flannelbush is Fremontodendron californicum (Torr.) Cov. It is a member of the cacao family (Sterculiaceae) [23,26]. Accepted infrataxa are F. c. subsp. californicum and F. c. subsp. decumbens (R.Lloyd) Munz) [48]. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : Fremontodendron californicum ssp. decumbens is Endangered [47]. OTHER STATUS : Information on state- and province-level protection status of plants in the United States and Canada is available at NatureServe.


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Fremontodendron californicum
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Flannelbush is widespread in California. It extends eastward into central Arizona and southward into northern Baja California, Mexico [18,23,33,37,38]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper STATES : AZ CA MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 3 Southern Pacific Border 4 Sierra Mountains 7 Lower Basin and Range 12 Colorado Plateau KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K030 California oakwoods K031 Oak - juniper woodlands K033 Chaparral SAF COVER TYPES : 237 Interior ponderosa pine 239 Pinyon - juniper 240 Arizona cypress 241 Western live oak 245 Pacific ponderosa pine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Flannelbush is a member of dry temperate sclerophyllous floras and is a characteristic species of chaparral [3,19]. It is a dominant shrub of desert chaparral communities which also finger into desert scrub or pinyon-juniper (Pinus spp.-Juniperus spp.) communities [6,17,18]. Additionally, it is found in chamise (Adenostoma fasciculata) chaparral and northern mixed chaparral, and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) communities of California [9,19,42]. Flannelbush is a dominant or indicator species in the following publications: (1) Vegetation types of the San Gabriel Mountains [16] (2) Preliminary descriptions of the terrestrial natural communities of California [19] (3) Vegetation of the San Bernardino Mountains [31]. Flannelbush is associated with numerous species listed in descriptions of ecosystems, Kuchler plant associations, or SAF cover types. Two species that are associated with flannelbush but not mentioned in those descriptions are desert almond (Prunus fasciculata) and bush poppy (Dendromecon rigida) [16].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Fremontodendron californicum
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Flannelbush wood is heavy and varies from hard to soft [10,30]. The wood is fine-grained, but it is not used commercially due to the small-sized bole [10]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Flannelbush provides yearlong browse for livestock and large game animals [4,9,10,23,37]. Young leaves and twigs are consumed more often than older parts [37]. PALATABILITY : Palatability of flannelbush was rated as excellent for deer, good to fair for sheep and goats, fair to poor for cattle, and poor or useless for horses [34,37]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Flannelbush is recommended for erosion control at elevations ranging from 500 to 6,000 feet (152-1,829 m) [14,20,35]. Flannelbush has been planted on banks and levees of flood control channels in California [14]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Tea made from flannelbush bark relieves throat irritations [27]. The mucilaginous inner bark is used in poultices for wounds [9,10]. Flannelbush is used in landscaping [20,22,23,34]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Following the removal of mixed chaparral top growth in California rangeland by bulldozing and burning, forage production was evaluated in a series of exclosure treatments over 6 years. The treatments were various combinations of 1 to 3 years of protection with 2 to 4 years of browsing. Flannelbush grew rapidly in all treatments, even exceeding browse line in the 1-year treatments. It grew out of browsing reach with or without continuous use by deer and/or cattle. Intensive browsing pressure is necessary to maintain flannelbush as low, readily available forage [13]. The root system of flannelbush is sensitive to disturbance which makes it unsuitable for bareroot transplanting. Methods of propagation are discussed in detail in the literature [20,22]. Flannelbush seed harvest, storage, germination, and planting methods are also discussed in detail [8,24,34].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Fremontodendron californicum
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Flannelbush is a native, evergreen, erect to decumbent shrub or tree. It reaches 3.3 to 13.1 feet (1-4 m) tall as a shrub. As a tree, it may grow to 30 feet (9 m) tall and 13.8 inches (35 cm) in diameter [10,23,26,30, 38,40]. It has a broad, open crown and a short trunk with deeply fissured bark. The thick leaves are simple with 3 to 5 lobes and are 1 to 1.4 inches (2.5-3.5 cm) long [10,40]. Leaves usually remain for 2 years; however, during wetter than normal springs, flannelbush produces larger leaves that are shed in late summer [3]. The flowers are 1 to 1.5 inches (0.4 to 1.8 cm) long [26,37]. Flowers are solitary in twig axils and numerous throughout the plant [26,30]. The fruit is a very hairy capsule 0.63 to 1.5 inches (1.6-3.9 cm) long and contains numerous seeds [26,34,37]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte Chamaephyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Flannelbush reproduces sexually and asexually. Flannelbush blooms the second year after germination [34]. It is usually an abundant seed producer [10]. Germination levels during laboratory trials were very low (3 to 10 percent) [24]. Seeds have an elaiosome [24]. Although seeds are thrown from the capsule by wind or other disturbances, ants are probably the main dispersal agents [34,43]. Flannelbush sprouts vigorously from the lignotuber following removal of top growth [17,26,43]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Flannelbush grows in mediterranean climates [3]. Over its range, flannelbush is found on all aspects in foothills and low elevation mountains [51,42]. In California and northern Mexico, flannelbush often occurs on granitic slopes from 3,000 to 6,000 feet (900-1,800 m) [9,15,40,32]. Kruckeberg [28] classified flannelbush as an indicator species for serpentine soils in California; however, it also occurs on soils derived from other parent materials [43]. Flannelbush is found on a variety of soil textures that range from gravelly loams to clays. It may occur on soils that are shallow or deep and rich [1,43]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Flannelbush is a minor component of climax chaparral. It is primarily found in seral communites of woodland-grass chaparral [4,5]. Occasionally, it occurs in seral forest chaparral. Flannelbush grows in open to very dense chaparral stands; light does not appear to be a limiting factor in establishment. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Flannelbush blooms between April and July throughout its range [9,10,30,34]. Fruits mature during August or September [34]. Seeds disperse during summer and fall [24,34].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Fremontodendron californicum
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Flannelbush is well adapted to recurring fires with its abundant seed production, prolific sprouting, and rapid growth. It reaches maturity relatively quickly; seeds can spread via animal or wind into fire-opened areas. Chaparral is one of the most fire-susceptible vegetations in the world; fire is the major cause of secondary succession in chaparral [15]. Flannelbush cover, similar to that of other chaparral species, is influenced by the frequency of burning. Chaparral communities evolved under variable fire recurrence regimes [46]. Recurrence intervals may be as short as 0 to 40 years, depending on the size and age of previous fires, or as long as over 100 years [5,45]. Flannelbush is also a dominant shrub in desert chaparral communities which burn less frequently and intensely than other chaparral types [15,21]. Flannelbush invades singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla) stands following fire [5,21,31]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/soboliferous species root sucker Tall shrub, adventitious-bud root crown Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Fremontodendron californicum
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire top-kills flannelbush; surviving lignotubers sprout following fire [7,9,34,44]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : All aboveground biomass of flannelbush was killed during a prescribed fire in November 1980 in chaparral of southern California. Two months later, flannelbush had sprouted in a study site at 5,085 feet (1,550 m) elevation. By June 1981, flannelbush sprouts covered approximately 744.9 square feet per acre (171 sq m/ha) and seedling cover was 39.2 square feet per acre (9 sq m/ha) [25]. Flannelbush vigorously sprouted and rapidly grew during the first 6 years following mechanical clearing (1954) and prescribed fire (1955) in mixed chaparral on the San Joaquin deer winter range in California. Twenty-two years following a wildfire (1939) in a different area on the winter range, flannelbush plants were numerous. Surviving lignotubers had sprouted, and plants had attained tree status [13]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : In California, prescribed fire is used to improve grazing conditions in woodland-grass chaparral cover types where flannelbush occurs [4]. Most flannelbush utilization by browsing animals takes place during the first 2 years following fire when sprouting is greatest [37].

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Fremontodendron californicum
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T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and ecosystems. New York: Academic Press: 321-364. [14542] 6. Bolsinger, Charles L. 1989. California's western juniper and pinyon-juniper woodlands: area, stand characteristics, wood volume, and fenceposts. Res. Bull. PNW-RB-166. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 37 p. [10365] 7. Boyd, Robert S.; Serafini, Lisa L. 1992. Reproductive attrition in the rare chaparral shrub Fremontodendron decumbens Lloyd (Sterculiaceae). American Journal of Botany. 79(11): 1264-1272. [21440] 8. Burcham, L. T. 1974. Fire and chaparral before European settlement. In: Rosenthal, Murray, ed. Symposium on living with the chaparral: Proceedings; 1973 March 30-31; Riverside, CA. San Francisco, CA: The Sierra Club: 101-120. [4669] 9. Conrad, C. Eugene. 1987. Common shrubs of chaparral and associated ecosystems of southern California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-99. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 86 p. [4209] 10. Elias, Thomas S. 1980. The complete trees of North America: field guide and natural history. New York: Times Mirror Magazines, Inc. 948 p. [21987] 11. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 12. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 13. Gibbens, R. P.; Schultz, A. M. 1962. Manipulation of shrub form and browse production in game range improvement. California Fish and Game. 48: 49-64. [21984] 14. Goldner, Bernard H. 1984. Riparian restoration efforts associated with structurally modified flood control channels. In: Warner, Richard E.; Hendrix, Kathleen M., eds. California riparian systems: Ecology, conservation, and productive management: Proceedings of the conference; 1981 September 17-19; Davis, CA. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 445-451. [5852] 15. Hanes, Ted L. 1971. Succession after fire in the chaparral of southern California. Ecological Monographs. 41(1): 27-52. [11405] 16. Hanes, Ted L. 1976. Vegetation types of the San Gabriel Mountians. In: Latting, June, ed. Symposium proceedings: plant communities of southern California; 1974 May 4; Fullerton, CA. Special Publication No. 2. Berkeley, CA: California Native Plant Society: 65-76. [4227] 17. Hanes, Ted L. 1977. California chaparral. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Major, Jack, eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 417-469. [7216] 18. Hanes, Ted L. 1981. California chaparral. In: Di Castri, F.; Goodall, D. W.; Specht, R. L., eds. Mediterranean-type shrublands. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V: 139-174. [13576] 19. Holland, Robert F. 1986. Preliminary descriptions of the terrestrial natural communities of California. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Fish and Game. 156 p. [12756] 20. Horton, Jerome S. 1949. Trees and shrubs for erosion control of southern California mountains. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, California [Pacific Southwest] Forest and Range Experiment Station; California Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. 72 p. [10689] 21. Horton, J. S. 1951. Vegetation. In: Some aspects of watershed management in southern California vegetation. Misc. Paper 1. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, California [Pacific Southwest] Forest and Range Experiment Station: 10-17. [10685] 22. Hyland, Bob. 1990. Fremontodendron `California glory'. Public Garden. Wayne, PA: Journal of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arbors; 6(2): 41-42. [21985] 23. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563] 24. Keeley, Jon E. 1987. Role of fire in seed germination of woody taxa in California chaparral. Ecology. 68(2): 434-443. [5403] 25. Keeley, Jon E.; Soderstrom, Thomas J. 1986. Postfire recovery of chaparral along an elevational gradient in southern California. Southwestern Naturalist. 31(2): 177-184. [4771] 26. Kelman, Walter M. 1991. A revision of Fremontodendron (Sterculiaceae). Systematic Botany. 16(1): 3-20. [13995] 27. Krochmal, A.; Paur, S.; Duisberg, P. 1954. Useful native plants in the American Southwestern deserts. Economic Botany. 8: 3-20. [2766] 28. Kruckeberg, Arthur R. 1984. California serpentines: flora, vegetation, geology, soils and management problems. Publications in Botany Volume 48. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 180 p. [12482] 29. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 30. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1950. Southwestern trees: A guide to the native species of New Mexico and Arizona. Agriculture Handbook No. 9. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 109 p. [20330] 31. Minnich, Richard A. 1976. Vegetation of the San Bernardino Mountains. In: Latting, June, ed. Symposium proceedings: plant communities of southern California; 1974 May 4; Fullerton, CA. Special Publication No. 2. Berkeley, CA: California Native Plant Society: 99-124. [4232] 32. Moran, Reid. 1972. Plant notes from the Sierra Juarez of Baja California, Mexico. Phytologia. 35(3): 205-214. [20382] 33. Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155] 34. Nord, Eamor C. 1974. Fremontodendron Cov. fremontia. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 417-419. [7669] 35. Pase, Charles P. 1982. Californian (coastal) chaparral. In: Brown, David E., ed. Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico. Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 91-94. [8891] 36. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 37. Sampson, Arthur W.; Jespersen, Beryl S. 1963. California range brushlands and browse plants. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Division of Agricultural Sciences, California Agricultural Experiment Station, Extension Service. 162 p. [3240] 38. Shreve, F.; Wiggins, I. L. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran Desert. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2 vols. [21016] 39. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 40. Thomas, John Hunter. 1974. Native shrubs of the Sierra Nevada. California Natural History Guides: 34. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 127 p. [21988] 41. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 42. Vankat, John L.; Major, Jack. 1978. Vegetation changes in Sequoia National Park, California. Journal of Biogeography. 5: 377-402. [17353] 43. Wells, Philip V. 1962. Vegetation in relation to geological substratum and fire in the San Luis Obispo Quadrangle, California. Ecological Monographs. 32(1): 79-103. [14183] 44. Wells, Philip V. 1969. The relation between mode of reproduction and extent of speciation in woody genera of the California chaparral. Evolution. 23: 264-267. [21986] 45. Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p. [2620] 46. Keeley, Jon E.; Keeley, Sterling C. 1977. Energy allocation patterns of a sprouting and a nonsprouting species of Arctostaphylos in the California chaparral. American Midland Naturalist. 98(1): 1-10. [13729] 47. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 2013. Endangered Species Program, [Online]. Available: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/. [86564] 48. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]


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