|Fuschia subsp. var.||Fuchsia|
Fuchsia is a genus of flowering plants, mostly shrubs, with some tree and herbaceous species as well. The genus was identified by Charles Plumier in the late 17th century, who named it after German botanist Leonhart Fuchs. The English vernacular name Fuchsia is the same as the scientific name. There are over 100 species and 8,000, cultivars and varieties of FuchsiaAH.
The great majority of Fuchsias are native to South America, but a few occurring north through Central America to Mexico, and also several on New Zealand, and Tahiti. One species, Fuchsia magellanica, extends as far as the southern tip of South America on Tierra del Fuego in the cool temperate zone, but most are tropical or subtropical. Most fuchsias are shrubs from 0.2–4 m tall, but one New Zealand species, Kotukutuku (Fuchsia excorticata), is unusual in the genus in being a tree, growing up to 12–15 m 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 either deciduous or evergreen depending on the species. The flowers are very decorative pendulous "eardrop" shape, borne 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 color white in various combinations. The fruit is a small (5–25 mm) dark reddish green, deep red, or deep purple edible berry containing numerous very small seeds. Many people describe the fruit as having a subtle grape flavor spiced with black pepper.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Fuchsia (Leonard Fuchs, 1501-1565, German professor of medicine, and a botanical author). Onagraceae. Handsome and popular flowering plants of greenhouses, conservatories, window-gardens and open grounds, blooming most freely in spring and summer.
Shrubs and small trees, with opposite, alternate or verticillate simple lvs.: fls. mostly showy, axillary or sometimes racemose and paniculate, usually pendulous, in shades of red and purplish and with some of the parts often white; tube prolonged beyond the ovary and bell-shaped to tubular, with 4 spreading lobes; petals 4, sometimes 5, or in some species wanting; stamens usually 8, often exserted; style long-exserted, the entire or 4- lobed stigma prominent: fr. (seldom seen under glass) a 4-loculed soft berry.—Seventy or eighty species, the greater part in Trop. Amer., but 3 or 4 in New Zeal. They are very variable in character. The common fuchsias arc known to us as small herbs, but most of them are shrubs in their native countries F. excorticala, of New Zeal., is a tree 30-40 ft. high, whereas F. procumbens, of the same country, is a weak, trailing plant. Of the many species, less than half a dozen have entered largely into garden forms. The common garden kinds have come mostly from F. magellanica. This species was intro. into Great Britain from Chile in 1788, or about that time. It is variable in a wild state as well as in cult., and plants subsequently intro. from S. Amer. were so distinct as to be regarded for a time as separate species. Even at the present day some of the forms of F. magellanica are commonly spoken of as species, so much dp they differ from the type. As early as 1848, 541 species and varieties—mostly mere garden forms—were known and named (Porcher, "La Fuchsia, son Histoire et sa Culture"). The fuchsia reached the height of its popularity about the middle of the past century. At present it is prized mostly for window-gardening and" conservatory decoration. The garden forms of the present day are with difficulty referred to specific types. The long-tubed or so-called speciosa forms are probably hybrids of F, magellanica and F. fulgens (Figs. 1603, 1604). Others are evidently direct varieties from the stem types. There are many full double forms. For the history and the garden botany of the fuchsia, see Hemsley in the Garden 9:284 and 11:70; also Watson, the Garden 55:74.
In mild climates, fuchsias make excellent outdoor shrubs, some of them withstanding frost. These are of the F. magellanica group. They are familiar to travellers in Ireland, and they may be seen as far north as the Shetland Islands. In California, many of the fuchsias are excellent and popular subjects for planting in the open. Under glass, forms of F. magellanica may be grown into large rafter shrubs, where they produce great abundance of bloom.
Fuchsias are among the most ornamental and popular of the cool greenhouse flowering plants. They may also be used in summer as bedding plants, and they are among the very few flowering plants that will bloom in the shade. If fair-sized specimen plants in 10- or 12-inch pots are desired, the best time to root them is the end of August. The best cuttings are secured from suckers that start from the base of the plants that are bedded out. The cutting should be 3 inches in length, and if the intention is to grow large specimens, pot them singly in 2-inch pots, in three parts sand, one part loam, and another of leaf-mold. Place the cuttings when potted in a shady position in a temperature of not less than 60° at night. When the very small plants are well rooted, shift them along into a pot 2 inches larger, using this time a compost of equal parts of loam, leaf-mold, and sand and add a third part of well-rotted manure. In this size of pot, the shoot will have made four or five joints, and should now be pinched to encourage side breaks. The plant, where it is stopped, will start into two breaks, and the strongest should be taken for a leader; pinch the weaker one when two leaves are well formed. Strict attention from now on should be paid to keep the plants in good shape. The side shoots must be kept in bounds, so that the symmetry of the plant is preserved, pinching "the stronger ones hard and allowing the weaker to grow a little longer so that they gain more vigor. The leader may be allowed to make six pairs of leaves, and then be stopped, always choosing the strongest breaks to increase the height of the plant. Potting should be strictly attended to, never allowing the plant to form a mat of roots around the ball before it gets a shift into a larger pot. The potting material for all future pottings may be composed of two parts good fibrous loam, with an equal amount of well-rotted horse-manure, one part flaky leaves, and one part sharp sand. The whole should be as rough as can be conveniently used when working it equally around the ball of the plant, in the potting operation. It is necessary to have a good straight stake down the center of the plant to support it in an upright position. When the plant is well established in the pot in which it is desired to flower it, manure waterings will be in order, as these plants are gross feeders when in active growth. Green cow-manure, fertilizers, and soot secured from soft coals agree well with fuchsias. The amount to be used is an ordinary handful to two and a half gallons of water. Water twice in between with clean water. Give the last pinch to the plants about six weeks before they are desired to be in full flower.—For bedding-out purposes, cuttings may be rooted in the spring, and grown on into 5- or 6-inch pots. Old plants may be kept through the winter, in a cool light pit, from which frost is kept. Keep them rather dry during October, November, and December, only giving enough water to maintain the wood plump. In January they may be removed to a temperature of 50° by night, allowing a rise of 10° or 15° during the day. This temperature, by the way, is most suitable for fuchsias after they are rooted until they come in flower. After it is seen where all the live eyes are on the old plants, trim them into shape, and remove all the dead wood. Turn them out of the pots, and remove all the loose dirt from the ball with a hose with a gentle pressure of water on it. They may be potted in the same size of pot, and when well rooted in that, give them a shift two sizes larger. Pinch the plants two or three times during the winter, and one will be rewarded with better plants the second year than the first. If well attended to every year, fuchsias may be kept for many years, attaining an enormous size. Fumigate with hydrocyanic gas, during winter, and that, with syringings on all bright days, until they come in flower, will keep down insect pests. (George F. Stewart.)
Species not known to be in the American trade are: F. ampliata Benth. Fls. large, scarlet, long-tubed, drooping. Colombia. B.M. 6839.— F. bacillaris. Lindl. Compact, with short-jointed branches: fls., very small, flaring-mouthed, rosy, drooping. Mex. B.H. 1480. — F. cordifolia, Benth. Fls. 2 in. long, slender, drooping, hairy, red, on very long pedicels. Mex. B.R. 27:70. — F. dominitina, Hort. Garden hybrid with long drooping red fls. of the speciosa type. F.S. 10:1004. — F. excorticata, Linn. f. Shrub or small tree of New Zeal., reaching 40 ft. high and the trunk sometimes 2-3 It. diam., the bark thin, papery and loose: lvs. alternate, ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, entire or nearly so: fls. 1 ¼ in. or less long, solitary and drooping, trimorphic. B.R. 857. — F. macrantha, Hook. Largest-fld. fuchsia; 4-6 in. long, pink-red, in large, drooping clusters. Colombia, Peru. B.M. 4233.— F. microphylla, HBK. Dwarf, small-lvd., with deep red, small axillary, drooping fls.: pretty. Mex. B.R. 1269. — f. serratifolia, Ruiz 4 Pav. Fls. long-tubod, speciosa-like, on drooping pedicels from the axils of the whorled lvs., pink with greenish tinge: handsome. Peru. B.M. 4174. — F. simplicicaulis, Ruiz A Pav. Lvs. usually in 3's, entire: fls. crimson, long and slender-tubed, in drooping clusters: resembles F. corymbifera. Peru. B.M. 5096.— F. thymifolia, H.B.K. To 6 ft.: [vs. small, opposite or nearly so, ovate or roundish, downy above: 9s. red, on axillary pedicels, the petals obovate and undulate. Mex. CH
Fuchsias are popular garden shrubs, and once planted will gives years of pleasures for minimal amount of care. The British Fuchsia Society maintain a list of "hardy" fuchsias that have been proven to survive and number of winters throughout Britain and to be back in flower each year by July. Enthusiasts report that hundreds and even thousands of hybrids survive and prospers throughout the Brisish Isles.
Fuchsias from sections Quelusia (F magellanica and variants, F regia, etc), encliandra (and some encliandra hybrids will flower 365 days continuously), Skinnera (F excorticata, F perscandens) and Procumbentes (F procumbens makes a great groundcover plant) are proven to be hardy in widespread area of Britain. Some of the more temperate species will survive outdoors in the more temperate areas, though may not always flower in the average British summer.
Seeds sown at 59-75°F (15-24°C). Softwood cuttings in spring, or semi-ripe cuttings in late summer with bottom heat.
Pests and diseases
If the plant has wilting or distorted leaves that have little insects on them, especially on new leaves, it is likely to be aphids. Spraying them with Confidor (NZ), Mavrik (NZ), Orthene (NZ), Super Shield (NZ) or a similar insecticide is the recommended treatment.
- Main article: List of fuchsia diseases
Felix Munz in his The Genus Fuchsia classified the genus into seven sections of 100 species. The majority of species, 94 of them, originate in Central and South America, West Indies, Haiti and Cuba. The other 6 species were found in New Zealand and Tahiti.
The vast majority of garden hybrids have descended from a few parent species.
Section 1: Quelusia
Species in this section have the nectary fused to the base of the hypanthium (tube). The hypanthium is cylinder shaped and is generally no longer than the sepals. The stamens are long and extend beyond the corolla (petals) (exserted).
- Fuchsia Bracelinae
- Fuchsia coccinea
- Fuchsia Compos-Portoi
- Fuchsia hybrida
- Fuchsia magellanica
- Fuchsia regia
- F. r. 'alpestris' syn Fuchsia alpestris
Section 2: Eufuchsia
Eufuchsia is the largest section of fuchsias. Flowers are perfect with convolute petals erect stamens that may or may not project beyond the corolla, the stamens opposite the petals are shorter. The fruit has many seeds.
Section 3: Kierschlegeria
This section possesses a single species. This species has pedicels which are in the axils and are pendulous. The leaves are sparse and the sepals are reflexed and slightly shorter than the tube.
Section 4: Skinnera
The main characteristics of this section include a floral tube that is swollen above the ovary (future fruit). The sepals curve back on themselves and the petals are small or near absent.
- Fuchsia colensoi
- Fuchsia cyrtahdroides
- Fuchsia excorticata
- Fuchsia kirkii
- Fuchsia perscandens
- Fuchsia procumbens
Section 5: Hemsleyella
The species in this section are characterised by a nectary that is fused with the base of the flower tube with petals that are partly or completely lacking.
Section 6: Schufia
Section 7: Engliandra
Flowers on species in this section have flat petals, short stamens and are reflexed into the tube. Fruits contain few seeds.
- ↑ Yate's 'Garden Problem Solver', HarperCollins, New Zealand, 2001
- ↑ Yate's 'Garden Problem Solver', HarperCollins, New Zealand, 2001
- ↑ Yate's 'Garden Problem Solver', HarperCollins, New Zealand, 2001
- ↑ Puttock, A. G., Lovely Fuchsias, Gifford, London, 1959
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Fuchsia. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
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