Fuchsia magellanica

7 Jul

Fuchsia magellanica flower (11/06/2011, London)

Fuchsia magellanica flower (11/06/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Moist/ well drained

Flowering period: Mid summer to autumn

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 2m

Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Onagraceae

Fuchsia magellanica is a deciduous shrub with a bushy habit. Its mid green leaves are simple and lanceolate with serrate margin. Its flowers are pendulous and hermaphroditic with red sepals and purple petals. Small black fruits follow these. In colder areas of the UK this plant may die back to ground level in winter, in milder a woody framework will remain.

Fuchsia magellanica, occasionally commonly known as Lady’s Eardrops, is native to Southern Argentina and Chile but has been widely naturalised in areas of the UK and Ireland. It can be used in the production of a black dye.

The etymological root of the binomial name Fuchsia was  named for Leonard Fuchs, a 16th century German botanist, with magellanica  meaning of or from the Magellan Straits area, in Chile.

Fuchsia magellanica hedge (11/06/2011, London)

Fuchsia magellanica hedge (11/06/2011, London)

The Landscape architect may find Fuchsia magellanica useful as an informal hedge in milder areas of the UK and Ireland. It is also useful in shady conditions and/ or maritime locations.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given the variety Fuchsia magellanica var. gracilis and cultivar Fuchsia magellanica var. gracilis ‘Variegata’  their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Ecologically, Fuchsia magellanica will attract pollinating insects such as butterflies and honey bees.

Fuchsia magellanica will tolerate many soil conditions; it will be happy in acid, neutral or alkaline pH levels, in loam or clay based soils in a sheltered  location facing any aspect except north.

Fuchsia magellanica requires little to no maintenance. May be trimmed in early spring to encourage flowering.

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