Fuchsia magellanica var. macrostema (Ruiz & Pav.) Munz
Fuchsia magellanica, the Hummingbird fuchsia or Hardy fuchsia, is a species of flowering plant in the family Evening Primrose family (family Onagraceae), native to the lower Southern Cone of southern South America.
This sub-shrub can grow to 10 feet (3.0 m) in height and width in frost-free climates, and 4–5 feet (1.2–1.5 m) where colder. The plant blossoms profusely over a long period with many small and tubular pendent flowers, in brilliant shades of red and purple, softer shades of pink and lavender, and some in white. F. magellanica is a consistently variable species across the whole of it natural range and, despite past usage and popular misconceptions, no scientific varieties are currently recognized by botanist Dr. Paul E. Berry, the leading authority on the genus. Care should be taken not to accord any of the many garden selections and hybrids with taxonomic status by using "var." Additionally, pollen stain tests conducted in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States by members of the Western Fuchsia Species Society have indicated that almost all of the many garden selections of this species are, in fact, hybrids to a lesser or greater degree.
Fuchsia magellanica, and its cultivars and hybrids, are widely cultivated by plant nurseries and gardeners as an ornamental plant. It s used for planting in temperate and subtropical gardens and within conservatories, and for containers on patios, balconies, and sunny houseplant positions.
The plants are quite cold-hardy compared to other species from more tropical climates, being deciduous where frosts are light, and only top die back in hard frosts (with mulching). The profuse drooping flowers are a nectar source attractive to hummingbirds.
This species, and hybrids using it as parent stock, are very susceptible to the fuchsia gall mite, Aculops fuchsiae, a serious disfiguring pest that was first accidentally spread from its native Brazil to the West Coast of the United States in 1980. It has more recently made appearances in France (2003), the Channel Islands (2006) and the United Kingdom (2007). Fortunately the fuchsia gall mite doesn't readily survive temperatures under 40°F (5°C) and there are effective treatments and strategies to combat its appearance.
Cultivars of Fuchsia magellanica include:
- Fuchsia magellanica 'Molinae' - lavender with white flowers.
- Fuchsia magellanica 'Riccartonii' - dark green leaves with a faint bronze sheen.
- Fuchsia magellanica 'Versicolor' - small, grey-green leaves variably margined with cream, pink flush when young; red and purple flowers.
- Fuchsia magellanica 'Gracilis' - smaller leaves, more arching branch structure.
- Fuchsia magellanica 'Gracilis Variegata' (syn: Fuchsia magellanica 'Variegata') - small, cream-edged leaves, long-narrow crimson and purple flowers
- Fuchsia magellanica 'Aurea' - bronze and gold leaves on deep red stems, vivid magenta and purple flowers.
- Paul E. Berry. “A Systematic Revision of Fuchsia Sect. Quelusia (Onagraceae).” Annuals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 1989, Vol. 76, No. 2, pp. 532-584.
- "Sunset Western Garden Book" - Fuchsia magellanica entry; Lane Publishing; 7th edition 2001.
- Berry, Paul E. "A Systematic Revision of Fuchsia Sect Quelusia (Onagraceae". Ann. Missouri Bot Gard. 76:532-584. 1989.
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