Mexican fremontia Sterculiaceae Fremontodendron
mexicanum Davidson symbol: FRME2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, 1 to 2 inches long, orbicular, usually with 5 rounded to pointy lobes (maple leaf like), and up to 5 veins coming from the leaf base, very thick and leathery, dark green to green above with scruffy lighter hairs, nearly white beneath and densely fuzzy. Hairs on leaves may cause skin irritation.
Flower: Very attractive, with 5 broad orange-yellow petal-like sepals, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches across, appear on short shoots in spring and early summer, may flower throughout summer and into the fall.
Fruit: Egg shaped but pointed, densely hairy, capsule, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, golden brown, splits into 4 or 5 sections when ripe in late summer and fall.
Twig: Young twigs are yellowish brown and densely covered in wooly hairs, older twigs become smooth and gray-brown, numerous spur shoots, naked buds are small and densely hairy, leaf scar with one bundle scar.
Bark: Dark gray and becoming furrowed, with rounded, rough ridges. Inner bark is mucilaginous.
Form: A tree-like shrub with a short unbranched trunk and a sprawling, dense crown up to 20 feet in height.
Looks like: California fremontia
Additional Range Information: Fremontodendron mexicanum is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting Mexican fremontia.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)