When talking about flowers and inflorescence any horticulturist would be amiss to not talk about the uniquely beautiful Fuchsia. Fuchsia plants have potentially one of the most unique and interesting morphological flowers out there that is particularly strange and curious.
They generally have a long stamen coming from a tear drop flower head that emerges from four long petals. When mature the flower will even produce some interesting fruit occasionally turned into jam, although certain varieties produce fruit that is flavorless or just nasty tasting.
Fuchsia is a flowering genus of the large Onagraceae family. It’s thought that over 41 million years ago, during the Eocene period, Fushias actually diverged from the Circea genus.
While it sounds illogical to say, this makes Fuchsia one of the more ‘recent’ plants in comparison to others which have been around a lot longer.
Yet, the Fushias weren’t recognised until the late 1600s when discovered while exploring the Antilles. As Fuchsias are generally endemic to the Southern Hemisphere it makes sense that they weren’t recognised in Western botany until this time.
The Fuchsias we know today are widely cultivated for their ornamental quality, and of their 110 recognised species many have won merits from the Royal Horticultural Society as a result.
Fuchsia ‘Dollar Princess’
With this specific cultivar, you get two Fuchsias for one – this cultivar is double flowered. The four long petals, standard of a Fuchsia, are vibrantly pink.
From this flower emerges another more compact flower that has a sort of ruffled look like a rose, it is a deep purple color that really contrasts the vibrant pink behind it.
The stamen is almost a perfect blend of these two colors but much lighter. This double flower is fairly rare for a Fuchsia hence why this specific cultivar is so well bred. The cultivar’s name seems to refer to the value you get from this particular cultivar.
Additionally, this double flowered Fuchsia is also particularly cold hardy and will bloom from the early summer and the way until the first frost. For this reason it is one of the most favored Fuchsia cultivars and has a well earned Award of Garden Merit from the the Royal Horticultural Society.
This can grow to near one and half feet in height which makes it a great choice to fill out borders and beds with the bold colors of this striking shrub.
Fuchsia ‘Dying Embers’
For a cultivar similar to ‘Dollar Princess’ that has similarly striking colors, but won’t steal the limelight from your other plants, this cultivar is worth considering.
The compact shrub has many smaller flowers that have light but still swelling pink petals that surround an aubergine purple corolla out of which emerges a pink stamen.
This Fuchsia really does look like the ‘Dying Embers’ of a fire from afar and can incite a similar warmth in its viewers.
The foliage is remarkable too, having some interesting red veins that color the bright green, sabre-like, leaves. Like most Fuchsias, this cultivar has been bred to be fairly unfussy, enjoying shade sun as well as most soils so long as they are moist but well drained.
This particular cultivar grows uniquely high for a Fuchsia at around two feet when mature. A great way to add height and color to aborder or bed without distracting too much from other flowers.
Fuchsia Magellanica Subsp. Gracilis
This is another RHS award winning Fuchsia that has a similar color palette to the two previous Fuchsia but has much more height and spread. This cultivar will be of particular interest to landscapers, although can work well in borders and beds when young.
Expect similar sized and colored flowers to the ‘Dying Embers’ cultivar – small and showy but not distracting from other flowers.
This Fuchsia, when mature, can grow up to three feet wide and have a similar spread. If you are landscaping a house with a new garden, this cultivar is worth considering as the mature bushes can get pretty big so long as you encourage growth with pruning and make sure to give it the attention it needs over time.
Saying that, the plant will grow well in almost any soil as long as you water it well. Moreover, the plant is great at surviving winters and coming back strong in the summer, just watch out for pesky caterpillars and mites that weed on the plant especially when it’s a mature shrub.
This cultivar is similar to the previous with its potential to become a larger and mature shrub if treated well, in normal circumstances it can reach three feet in height, but has some more interesting colors on its flowers.
This particular cultivar has different shades of whtie and red, earning it the ‘checkerboard’ name. The four long petals are white and emerge from a pale pink and tubular body that is fairly unique.
A smaller but dark scarlet red corolla draws in the eye and is beautifully contrasted by the white petals and stamen that engulf the corolla.
Fuchsia ‘Champagne Celebration’
This Fuchsia has some more unique colors in its flowers, and can grow to a medium sized shrub.
The four long petals are a champagne color that isn’t exactly white or creamy but has that champagne pink tinge to it, making it perfect for some contrast with other more commonly white colored flowers. From the champagne petals emerges a beautifully magenta or purple
Corolla which shows off the stamen which can either be purple or champagne colored. The color of the corolla is what people commonly refer to as ‘Fuchsia’ due to its regular appearance within the genus.
With the right care this could stand alone as a medium sized shrub within a landscaped garden, but also brings color and interesting inflorescence to a mixed flower bed or border.
Within a bed of other Fuchsias, this specific cultivar would really bring some welcome brightness with its champagne colored flowers that are certainly a cause for celebration.
Another beautiful Fuchsia cultivar that has the potential to become a hedge or bush as a permanent staple in your garden, or the ability to be used in borders and beds when young.
This particular cultivar has some interesting foliage that is much brighter and lighter than its fellow varieties. The foliage almost glows when the sun hits it.
Moreover, the stems are particularly red and vein into the bright foliage bringing some welcome contrast to the flowers and foliage unique from other Fuchsia cultivars.
The is great accompaniment to the bright yet small flowers that bring a pop of color to a world of green. The petals are a blushing pink color and often they interestingly curl upwards towards the sun or source of light.
This exposes the compact corolla that is a particularly light purple color reminiscent of a young eggplant.
This is a trailing variety of the common Fuchsia genus. As a result of its trailing root system it’s perfect for hanging baskets.
When in a hanging basket this Fuchsia can trail downwards to a length of three feet if treated with the correct care, just like Rapunzel’s hair from her tower. This variety isn’t particularly hardy and remains a spectacle for the summer rather than a permanent shrub.
This cultivar is of particular interest for the colors its flowers present. The four petals are a champagne color and can extend to be quite long and open widely to expose the corolla.
The corolla is a deep eggplant color and when mature and in full sun they can open fairly widely in comparison to other cultivars.
When in full bloom this creates a long hanging and trailing plant that is a waterfall of dark green foliage with pops of white and the beautiful purple corolla adds some density to this color palette.
A gardener can demonstrate their versatility by optimising the growth of this specific cultivar
The Final Word
Fuchsias are a particularly unique plant that has some really interesting inflorescence that can bring some welcome variety into your garden with color as well as morphology.
These cultivars hopefully demonstrate the variety present within this genus, from permanent and large spread shrubs, to smaller hanging baskets, to a common character within borders and beds, the Fuchsia has many uses.
The Fuchsia is a great way for beginners to explore different kinds of flowers and thanks to the general hardiness of the plant granted by years of horticultural cultivation, it is particularly unfussy – yet, the plant still teaches good practice of pruning and avoiding pesky pests.
Moreover, the fact this will bloom all the way into September, and can be re grown the following season, makes this an ideal plant for the expert gardeners as well as the beginners.
If you really want to show off your gardening flair, try making a bed of Fuchsias, there are so many cultivars that have many different colored flowers that this could be a really striking display in your garden during this season.