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San Francisco Botanical Garden is a public/private partnership between San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

Featured Plant

Fuchsia denticulata

Profile:

Scientific Name: Fuchsia denticulata

Family: Onagraceae

Plant Type: Perennial shrub

Environment: Part shade to filtered sun

Bloom: Purple/magenta flowers with elongated yellow stamen

Uses: A colorful specimen plant, will also do well in a large pot

October

About

Fuchsia denticulata

Fuchsia denticulata Ruiz & Pav. is a large shrub native to Bolivia and Peru. The species was first described in 1802 by Hipólito Ruiz and José A. Pavón in the Flora Peruviana, et Chilensis (Peruvian and Chilean Flora). This description was based off collections made in the Huasahuasi district of Peru and was noted at the time for the variety of colors found on the flower. These collections were part of a larger ten year expedition to Peru and Chile sponsored by King Charles III of Spain who was particularly interested in funding scientific expeditions in the New World.

Fuchsia denticulata is native to the cloud forests of Peru and Bolivia, occurring at elevations of 2,000-3,5000 m. In Peru, it is found to grow in small pockets of moist habitat in the otherwise dry Pacific slopes of the Andes, where it will grow as an erect shrub. Outside of these populations, the taxon can be found in the cloud forests on the eastern side of the Andes stretching from Peru to Bolivia, where it can occur as a climbing plant. These disjunct populations between the eastern and western slopes corresponds to a pattern of east-west migration of the species in the Andes during the Pleistocene epoch (2.5 million to 11,700 years ago).

As noted in the original description, F. denticulata has very colorful flowers with a bright pink floral tube, sepals that transition from white to lime and petals that are a vibrant orange. When the flowers dry, they will also reveal purple streaks along the petals. This particular Fuchsia can become quite a large shrub, reaching almost 7 ft at maturity. It is not cold hardy, however it can easily be grown in a planter, to move inside during colder weather.  Like most Fuchsias, the purple fleshy fruits are edible, with a slightly sweet taste. Due to its vibrant coloration and tubular flowers, F. denticulata is also a favorite of hummingbirds.

IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS: Text by and Photos by Victoria Stewart.