Fremontodendron decumbens

Family:
Sterculiaceae
Common Names:
Pine Hill flannelbush
Author:
R.M. Lloyd
Synonyms:
Growth Habit:
Shrub
CPC Number:
1952
Profile Contributors:
Sponsorship:
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Regional Parks Botanic Garden
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden


The conservation of Fremontodendron decumbens is fully sponsored.

Description

This species of flannelbush cannot self-pollinate but has a fascinating relation with the three native bee species that pollinate its flowers. The bees are attracted to the high levels of ultraviolet light the flowers reflect. The nectar they produce absorbs UV light (appearing darker to the bees) and then reflects some of it in visible wavelengths with the brightness proportional to the amount of nectar present. This allows the foraging bees to determine when another pollinator has recently visited a flower from a distance and increases the chance that the bee will visit flowers that have not been pollinated. (Boyd 1985)

Pine Hill Flannel Bush is a member of the cacao family (Sterculiaceae). Members of this family include the tropical and subtropical plants that are used to make cola, chocolate and various drugs. Some plants are also used as ornamental in garden plants. This family is noteworthy because of its evergreen leaves. The name Flannel Bush alludes to the fuzzy-feeling leaves of this particular plant. These fuzzy leaves have tiny hairs covering their whole surface, which keeps Fremontodendron decumbens from losing too much water from its leaves. This is a very important adaptation in the hot and drought-prone areas in California where this plant grows.

Distribution & Occurrence

Pollinators

Conservation, Ecology & Research

References