Interesting Plant: Fuchsia

Fuchsia

Fuchsia are one of those plants that just blows you away at every turn. There are so many , varieties, each with their own special coloration, flower shape and growing habit. I recently saw a Gardener’s World segment on fuchsia and was amazed once again. A little research shows that are even some native California “fuchsia”, although their scientific name has shifted over and over. Las Pilitas Nursery has some extensive information on these plants. I would guess, though, that out of this huge variety you might be able to find a fuchsia to fit into your garden or patio.

 Fuschia

Discovered via Tumblr User, FlowersGardenLove

Fuchsia /ˈfjuːʃə/ is a genus of flowering plants that consists mostly of shrubs or small trees. The first, Fuchsia triphylla, was discovered on the Caribbean island ofHispaniola (present day Dominican Republic and Haiti) about 1696–1697 by the French Minim monk and botanist, Charles Plumier during his third expedition to the Greater Antilles. He named the new genus after the renowned German botanist Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566).[2][3]

There are currently almost 110 recognized species of Fuchsia. The vast majority are native to South America, but with a few occurring north through Central America to Mexico, and also several from New Zealand to Tahiti. One species, F. magellanica, extends as far as the southern tip of South America, occurring on Tierra del Fuego in the cool temperate zone, but the majority are tropical or subtropical. Most fuchsias are shrubs from 0.2–4 m (8 in–13 ft 1 in) tall, but one New Zealand species, thekōtukutuku (F. excorticata), is unusual in the genus in being a tree, growing up to 12–15 metres (39–49 ft) tall.

Fuchsia leaves are opposite or in whorls of 3–5, simple lanceolate and usually have serrated margins (entire in some species), 1–25 cm long, and can be eitherdeciduous or evergreen, depending on the species. The flowers are very decorative; they have a pendulous “teardrop” shape and are displayed in profusion throughout the summer and autumn, and all year in tropical species. They have four long, slender sepals and four shorter, broader petals; in many species the sepals are bright red and the petals purple (colours that attract the hummingbirds that pollinate them), but the colours can vary from white to dark red, purple-blue, and orange. A few have yellowish tones, and recent hybrids have added the colour white in various combinations. The ovary is inferior and the fruit is a small (5–25 mm) dark reddish green, deep red, or deep purple berry, containing numerous very small seeds.

The fruit of some fuchsia species and cultivars is edible, with the berry of F. splendens reportedly among the best-tasting. Its flavor is reminiscent of citrus and pepper, and it can be made into jam. The fruits of some other fuchsias are flavorless or leave a bad aftertaste.[4] — Wikipedia


More information on Fuchsia: 
 
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Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas

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