Friday, November 13, 2009

My Fuchsia

One of the highlights of my garden, still flowering, is this fuchsia. (Photograph taken two days ago). I planted this small fuchsia in the top of a bit of the trunk of a tree which my sister in law brought me quite a number of years ago and it grows there every year, dies back in the winter, flowers luxuriantly every summer and well into the autumn.

Fuchsias are, according to the British Fuchsia Society, characterized by entire, usually opposite leaves, pendent flowers, a funnel-shaped, brightly coloured, quadripartite, deciduous calyx, 4 petals, alternating with the calycine segments, 8, rarely 10, exserted stamens, a long filiform style, an inferior ovary, and fruit, a fleshy ovoid many-seeded berry. So now you know.

It was a suprise to me to learn that they are not native to Europe, but of North and South America and were only introduced to Britain in the early 1800s. In Ireland it is common especially in the West and South. I associate it especially with the seaside area of Sligo where my father came from - between Ballisodare and Ballina. I spent many summers on holidays there and remember the huge hedges of fuchsia.

It had been so named by the plant collector Charles Plumier in honour of the German botanist Leonhard Fuchs (1501-1566).


Honor Duff said...

Michael - a lovely photo, and how fortunate you are to have that Fuschia bush still in full flower. Mine - in a container - lost its flowers two weeks ago. Your fuschia is obviously thriving in a sheltered, sunny corner and responding to your green-fingered skills. Interesting information also on the origin of the name.

Honor Duff said...

CORRECTION; Fell into the wrong spelling trap not once but twice in my comment.Shame on me, particularly as the name of the flower was mentioned right through your piece. I should, of course, have praised your lovely FUCHSIA photo. Apologies also to the late, great Leonard Fuchs.