Mexican Flannelbush [Fremontodendron mexicanum A Davids.]

Mexican Flannelbush [Fremontodendron mexicanum A Davids.]

Listing CNPS List 1B R-E-D Code 3-2-2

State/Federal. Status -- CR/C2 STERCULIACEAE Mar.-Jun.

Global Rank G3? State Rank S1.1

Distribution: San Diego County, Baja California

Habitat: Closed Cone Coniferous Forest and Southern Mixed Chaparral are the Otay Mountain habitats adjacent to the flannel bush sites. Soils here are mapped as San Miguel-Exchequer rocky silt loams; however, it should be noted that this large bush usually occurs in alluvium on the periphery of Cedar Creek. Tecate Cypress are scattered in this same drainage.

Known Sites: A limited population of mature shrubs grows along Cedar Creek on Otay Mountain. It may occur in other watercourses nearby not already noted by previous botanists; however, the entire known population is now restricted to Otay Mountain. Two very old collections from 1878 and 1894 at Proctor Valley have not been relocated. In addition, there is an 1875 collection labeled "Monument" which likely refers to a site in the hills east of Border Field; this also has not been relocated. Scattered reports well north of San Diego County likely represent planted specimen shrubs readily available in the nursery trade for many years, misidentifications, or horticultural hybrids.

Only one population, from the vicinity of Arroyo Seco north of San Quentin, is known from Baja California. This historical site was reportedly washed out by a substantial flood, and it may be extirpated at this locale.

Status: Mexican Flannelbush is declining and possibly approaching extinction. This species is recommended for Federal Endangered status. All populations should be fully protected with adequate buffers.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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