'Magellanica molinae,' like 'F. lycioides', is a fuchsia species not a hybrid. And like 'Lycioides', it can get really big. The first time I saw it, was as a bush that went up to the second story of a house in Capitola, California. The one I have in my collection is over 12 years old and would be much bigger right now if it hadn't been used as a jungle gym for my teenage cats when they were learning to climb. I had to severely prune it back afterwards to reform it. They broke branches that were two inches across!! Besides it being the main hang out of resting hummingbirds, I love the huge numbers of cascading little flowers with just a hint of blue in their corolla. The bark has interest as well. It has an outer layer which is flaky and very different from other barks. At least I know that no matter how much damage the kittens did, I could count on this one to produce new shoots at least six feet tall in the spring. Rivaling any new cane a rose could put out. They also make great additions to floral arrangements. That is a vase of cut 'Magellanica molinae' I use as my photo id for this blog! I am also using a row of them as a future hedge to provide shade for new fuchsia starts. I had heard about fuchsias being used as hedges and it is going very well so far. I'll post photos of it when it has gotten a bit taller and filled in more.
'Lycioides' is a species with it's own Section in the categories fuchsia species are seperated into. And it is the only variety in Section Kierschlegeria! It can get very big if allowed to and produces thousands of these little red flowers in bunches all along it's branches. Especially if grown in good soil and in an area where the roots will be cool but the foliage gets plenty of full sun. The flowers are followed by little black currant sized berries which taste a bit like a cross between raisins and figs when they are ripe. But this doesn't mean it isn't still blooming, because in some areas, like zone 9, it is always in bloom. This is the one the hummingbirds visit the most, especially just before it gets dark. Like a good snack before bed time. I plan on planting a hedge of these, just as I have down with F. magellanica. Because of three qualities. Their ability to grow tall, the small leaves which will lend themselves well to creating a dense wall, and the small flowers which will fill in that dense wall. I'll be certain to post photos of the results both here and at DavesGarden. And my website of course ;-)
'Iced Champagne' is one of the medium sized bushes. Not one the rapid ones needing allot of room right away, nor one of the much slower ones which may take a couple of years to fill in a space. Normally, I don't go for white flowers, as any form of damage seems to jump out at you. But this one has taken me by surprise. It is hard to tell in my photograph, but this white has a slightly creamy pink tone to it. I'll try to produce a better photo by this summer. This bush was among those which sustained some damage due to freezing this winter. It is growing out of it very well, but won't be ready for a photo shoot for a bit longer. One big project this coming fall, will be to re-arrange the collection so that varieties which are more sensitive to freezing temperatures will all be together and can receive a higher level of protection than their sturdier relatives. Many in my collection received no protection at all and are currently covered with flowers! 'Iced Champagne' is definately worth the effort!
'Gypsy Prince' is another one of the few which grace my small front yard. Right beside the walkway that leads to the house. It blooms year round here on the central coast of California. Even during freezes that damaged others nearby. I even took some Christmas photos of big round red blossoms because they reminded me of ornaments! It is not one of the faster growing upright bushes. But it has attained a nice height and I don't have to prune it, so this is a good thing. It also has thick and sturdy branches to hold up the big blossoms it produces. Only one wayward branch is currently being tied to a temporary post until it redirects itself.
Wow, I haven't posted since last Wednesday! Pedricks Corner just received it's 40th positive review in the Garden Watchdog at DavesGarden.com! I am very hopeful for this year!
'Gordon's China Rose' is a small leaved compact bush which will probably attain some height over the years with pruning. And this will be my goal. Meanwhile, it has a wonderful little double blossom on it and fits nicely in between another bush much like it 'Dollar Princess' and the much larger 'Mood Indigo.'
This time of year, the garden is gearing up to go full throttle and I am also hunting down new varieties to add to the collection. Which is currently at 148 varieties! I am specifically looking for the older cultivars which were hybridized here in the states prior to the 1950's. It seems like many of those are going to be hard to find.
To facilitate this search, I have created a searchable database with over 1500 upright varieties in it and as much information on each one as I could find. You will be able to search by sepal or corolla or height or year of introduction, etc! The new website to access this database is named "AListOfFuchsias.info." As that is all it will be, information for us fuchsia fanatics!
In other words, more often than not, for the time being, I may not be able to post here everyday. When the new website it up and running, I'll post a link to it here.
'Garden News' is still a small bush in this photo, but I have several and one is four times this size now. As soon as it begins to bloom again after being trimmed this winter, I will post a new photo. I am not really into pink. But this one has peachy tones that I like. And who can resist a whole bush covered with these? None of them sustained any damage this winter or last summer. I trimmed the largest one so I could root some new cuttings of it. The others are all in bloom right now. The flowers tend to become a bit smaller when grown out in the full sun. I don't mind this, as I prefer smaller flowers anyway. And although the flowers are smaller out in the full sun, you get more of them!!
'Foxgrove Wood' is now a large bush almost five feet high. Mine is about three years old now and it had been pruned on the sides to keep it going upwards. And the effort was well worth it. This one would make a great formed hedge! I am growing a hedge of F. magellanica mollinae which will be featured later this year. And now I am thinking of doing another with 'Foxgrove Wood' as I love these little flowers it produces so abundantly. When grown out in the sun, it is very vigorous and heads straight upwards!
'Duchess of Albany' is hands down, one of my new favorites! A gorgeous bush when in full bloom! It needs a bit of pruning to keep it going in a more upwards direction than sideways, but it is well worth the effort. It is a vigorous grower which has now handled two winters with freezes that damaged others nearby, but not it. And this will be it's third summer in a large container out in the full sun most of the day. Some of the older and larger specimens in my collection do get some afternoon shade from the fruit trees if they are in the front yard. Otherwise, it would be necessary to either re-pot them, or keep them pruned within the means of their containers. A basic rule of thumb is that you ought not to allow a plant to get larger than it's container. Especially a plant out in the sun. Or it will not be possible for the plant to have a root system large enough to cope with the heat and sun. The 'Duchess of Albany' also has unusual foliage for a fuchsia, I am wondering who her parents are! The leaves are a bit thicker and fleshier than most fuchsia leaves, and a lighter green than most others. Just makes this one stand out even more!
'Dollar Princess' makes a nice compact bush with double blossoms. Not the big double blossoms, but not as small as 'Delta's Parade' or 'Gordon's China Rose' for example. The colors on this blossom are remarkable though. It will take some pruning to achieve more height. Meanwhile, though, it is another good one to consider for filling in those areas where you don't need height and/or a large container.
'Delta's Parade' is always going to be a special upright to me because it can truly be described as always in bloom. This one has been in my collection for three years now and I have never seen it without at least a few flowers on it. Even after freezes that burned others, this one has never been damaged. Like it's kin, 'Delta's Groom', 'Delta's Parade' is a study in purple! And the smaller sized double blossoms are the best in my book.
'Delta's Groom' will surprise allot of people. Most of whom don't think purple when they think of fuchsias! Imagine their surprise to see a big bush covered with these purple flowers. This one is a vigorous upright. And again, a very hardy one. Summers heat and winters cold, it has never been fazed by either. I am still working on getting a better shot of this one. And I will post it as soon as I do. It is behind several others and I need to pull out out for that perfect shot.
'Coquet Bell' is a delightful upright fuchsia in the mid-sized range. It has a nice round form to the bush and is almost always covered with these simple flowers, which to me, really look like the twirling folds of a blue skirt. This one would make a great focal point in a large container. It might also do well as a larger bonsai.
'Chiquita Maria' is a very sturdy upright. It has a definite upright growth pattern with stout thick branches to hold lots of the beautiful double blossoms it produces. It doesn't get tall and leggy, or put out huge long new branches like 'Cardinal' or the magellanicas. But will easily fill a four by four space to about four feet. This one is under a fruit tree and gets plenty of late afternoon sun.
'Chang' did exceptionally well this winter compared to other related varieties. From the form and color of it's flower, I am assuming a triphylla was somewhere back in it's heritage. And some of those were bitten by the freezes this winter. Not Chang though! I even had to cut it back just recently to keep it out of it's neighbors. So I'll be taking a new photo of it soon to show how big it has gotten in just one year. In general, the orange tinged fuchsias also tend to deal very well with the heat. And of course, this Chang is out in the full sun most of the day.