|Landscaping & Gardening Information|
Fuchsia (named after Leonhard Fuchs, a 16th century German botanist) is a genus of over 100 species of shrubs and small trees. Although there are four New Zealand native species (colensoi, excorticata, perscandens and procumbens) and one from Tahiti, the vast bulk of the genus occurs in Central and South America.
Think of fuchsias and chances are the fancy garden hybrids come to mind first. Showy as they are, it is not difficult to see they are related to wild species such as Fuchsia magellanica, Fuchsia denticulata and Fuchsia triphylla.
Some species, however, are less easy to distinguish. Our common native tree fuchsia (Fuchsia excorticata) has fuchsia-like flowers, though it can be hard to see the connection with the garden plants when it is not in bloom. But the likes of Fuchsia arborescens from Central America, with its panicles of tiny flowers, scarcely matches the common idea of a fuchsia.
The most widely grown of New Zealand's native species is Fuchsia procumbens and it too is quite unlike the garden cultivars. It is a low spreading plant with small rounded leaves and can be very hard to pick as a fuchsia until it flowers. Indeed, my initial experience of the plant was with cultivated specimens and I have to admit that I didn't immediately recognise wild plants when I first saw them.
This species was discovered in Northland in 1834 by Richard Cunningham. (some authorities call him Robert; in any case he should not be confused with his better known brother Allan.) However, it wasn't introduced into Europe until 40 years later in 1874. It has at times also been known as Fuchsia prostrata and Fuchsia kirkii.
The species occurs naturally in the north of the North Island down to northern Coromandel, often in coastal areas, and is now endangered in the wild. Though wild specimens can spread to several metres wide, cultivated plants are usually quite compact.
The flowers, which appear from mid to late spring are sometimes hard to see among the dense, sprawling foliage. The blooms are not the usual fuchsia colours - green and yellow, not red and purple - and most unusually, they face upwards rather than being pendulous. The blue pollen-tipped anthers are also very distinctive.
Upward facing flowers are scarcely surprising in a plant that grows so close to the ground. Nevertheless it is a feature that hybridisers have long been trying, with limited success, to breed into garden hybrids.
The real feature, and the reason why Fuchsia procumbens is grown by enthusiasts world-wide, is the berries that follow the flower. All fuchsias bear berries, but none can match the fruit of Fuchsia procumbens. While the bright red berries of wild plants are scarcely larger than redcurrants, cultivated plants may have fruit the size of small plums. The fruit has a grape-or plum-like bloom and is particularly showy because it is carried on top the foliage, not hanging below it. Fuchsia procumbens is a plant that likes to show off its wares.
This little trailing plant makes a superb hanging basket specimen and is very easy to grow. Despite its northerly natural distribution, it tolerates frosts and even withstands some drought. But strangely enough it is one of those New Zealand natives that is better know abroad than at home. British and American growers wouldn't be without it, but how often do you see a good specimen in a local garden?
I am a garden book author and horticultural photographer based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I run a stock photo library called Country, Farm and Garden (http://www.cfgphoto.com). This article may be re-published provided this information is published with it and is clearly visible.
Many individuals are fascinated by hummingbirds. So much so, that they will do anything in their power to attract these petite creatures to their yards.
22 Fun Things To Do With Your Dozen Rose Gift
Your dozen rose gift doesn't only have to decorate your favorite room. Roses are about romance and enjoying the moment they are given and received.
How to Decorate your Outdoor Space without Breaking the Bank
Noted English clergyman Sydney Smith (1771-1845) is quoted as saying, "Economy in the estimation of common minds means the absence of all taste and comfort." But finding thrifty ways to decorate your outdoor living space doesn't mean you have to sacrifice either of those things.
Why Teak Furniture is the Better Choice
For centuries, it has been known that teak has qualities unlike any other wood. With an average lifespan of 75 years, teak wood has long been commended as the ideal choice for outdoor furniture.
Starting a Shade Garden...
The shade garden can be exploding with color and texture. No matter how much shade is in your landscape, the right flowers, plants, bushes and bulbs will grow in this area when given a chance.
Make Your Fresh Cut Roses Last Longer!
Women adore getting flowers, most especially roses, as it is a symbol of love and affection. Price of roses vary from state to state and flower shop to flower shop.
When to Plant Vegetaibles
Planting times for vegetables and other annual plants vary from species to species. In much of the United States the prime consideration is the date of the last spring frost/freeze.
Science Cant Explain Everything!
You will know that if you have spent at least some time reflecting on the world around you, some things cannot be explained in purely scientific terms. Armies of scientists and researchers swarm in labs around the world trying to take the mystery out of every bit of wonder we witness.
June Gardening Tips
These are just a few gardening tips for you to consider here in late June. Many people seem to think that just because all the plants have been put into their places for the summer and your perennials are blooming, or past bloom, there is no more work to be done.
Flowering cherries While the briefness of their glory has to be acknowledged, cherries really are the hardy spring-flowering trees for temperate climate gardens. I can think of no others, apart from their close Prunus relatives and some of the magnolias that even come close to rivalling flowering cherries for sheer weight of bloom and vibrance of colour.
16 Lawn Mower Safety Tips
1. Always read the instruction manual before operating your lawnmower.
Adirondack Furniture - What It is and Why You Want It
Adirondack is the name given to a style of furnishings that date back to the late 1800's. During this time period, immediately following the civil war, upstate New York gained notoriety as a popular tourist destination.
Cat Repellent or How to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden
Do cat repellents work? How to stop a cat from using garden as litterbox? Tell me how to keep cats out of my garden. These are common questions of concern to all gardeners but is there a real answer?The first line of defence is to ensure that your yard boundaries are secure.
Overwintering Pond Fish
The metabolism of koi and goldfish is controlled primarily bywater temperature. As the water cools, pond fish require lessprotein in their diet.
The Sundial - Garden Ornament or Exotic Timepiece?
Most of us regard a sundial as an attractive ornament fora park or garden. Their effectiveness as time keepers ishighly variableThat's unfortunate, because it is not at all difficult to ensure that your garden sundial will be an accurate timepiece, provided, of course that the sun is shining.
Tips for Backyard Fish Ponds Care
Installing a backyard fish pond is an aesthetic addition to your landscaping and offers a bit of tranquility as well. However, taking care of backyard fish ponds is not as easy as one might think.
A Look at Fall Flower Bulbs
Most people would think of fall as a season when trees are changing colors and dying. For many, the autumn leaves are our last dance with color before the dark, gray winter sets in.
Selecting Outdoor Benches
Outdoor benches are an excellent way to enhance a garden, create additional seating in a backyard or add a resting spot for a business. With outdoor benches, you will discover a huge selection of materials such as stone, wood, concrete, brick, etc.
Gardening in Containers
Every Garden can benefit from the addition of container gardens. They add interst and variety, plus are easily moved around.
Bottle Gardening or Terrarium - Design and Maintenance
Women take pride in home decoration and gardening and want some unique and prized possessions that are not part of the neighboring dwellings. Gardening offers opening as there is no end to creativity, especially in the fields of flower arrangement, bonsai, mini-rock garden etc.
|home | site map|