Monday, September 7, 2015


Fuchsias are a beautiful life form and beautiful manifestations of life make us happy no matter what the theoretical physicist Michio Kaku would have us think. In his book Parallel Worlds (Anchor Books, NY, 2006) he writes about the stages of existence in a universe. He tells the reader: “On this scale, we see that the blossoming of plants and animals on Earth will only last a mere billion years (and we are halfway through this golden era today)”. He quotes astronomer Donald Brownlee: “Mother Nature wasn’t designed to make us happy.” “Compared to the life span of the entire universe, the flowering of life lasts only the briefest instant of time.” (P.297)

Fuchsia flowers are like bejeweled pendants (pendulous) and they for sure are a cause for happiness, ergo evolution must have had a plan about it all. Fuchsias flower throughout the summer and autumn, and all year with tropical species. In many Fuchsia species the sepals are bright red and the petals are purple. These colors attract the hummingbirds that pollinate them. The pollinators of the plant are oligoleges.

Fuchsia blooms in May

Oligolecty means that the pollinators, usually bees, are specialized on a plant family and have the morphology that can effectively pollinate the flowers. Fuchsia is in the family Onagraceae that is characterised by flowers with usually four sepals and petals. Nearly all the bees that visit the flowers of Fuchsia are oligoleges specialized on plants in the family Onagraceae.

I don’t know if these bees exist where the plants are cultivated. Other means of propagation may be used.

Fuchsia is a genus of flowering plants that consists mostly of shrubs or small trees. The first, Fuchsia triphylla, was discovered on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola (present day Dominican Republic and Haiti) about 1696–1697 by the French Roman Catholic 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) (

Fuchsia received its name officially around 1703 by Plumier who compiled his Nova Plantarum Americanum based on the results of his fourth plant-finding trip to America in search of new genera.

Most Fuchsia are native to South America with a few growing in north through Central America to Mexico and most are shrubs from 0.2-4 m tall. There are several that are native to New Zealand and Tahiti. A majority are tropical or subtropical.

The fruit of all fuchsia species and cultivars are edible. Fuchsias have become popular garden shrubs, and once planted they can live for years with a minimal amount of care.

There is a British Fuchsia Society that maintains a list of "hardy" fuchsias that are known to have survived a number of winters throughout Britain and to be back in flower each year by July.

In the United States, members of the American Fuchsia Society brought back approximately 50 plants to California from a trip to Europe in 1930.

This is a well-traveled plant.

  Photograph:Tülay Karayazgan


  1. Hi Beste - to me fuchsia always remind me of Cornwall, my mother and our holidays and times down there ... very Cornish - a sheltered area of the UK ... it's those crimson bloused ones with purple underskirts - we have hedgerows of them ... always loved them. Cheers Hilary

  2. I love your description of the fuchsia, Hilary- 'crimson bloused with purple underskirts'. I can't begin to imagine what a beautiful sight to behold hedgerows of fuchsia would be. Salut!

  3. So pretty! Speaking of surviving winters, I just learned that harsh weather and various crop blights decimated vineyards in Switzerland c. 100 years ago, and that many were replanted with varieties brought from the States (which I assume had originally been brought to the States from Europe)!

  4. I come across surprising plant exchanges also. I wonder why they didn't get varieties from France or Italy.