Named after German botanist, Leonhard Fuchs, fuchsia is a genus of flowering plants that consists mostly of small trees or shrubs. The plant was discovered on Hispaniola, an island in the Caribbean around 1696 by Charles Plumier, a French monk.
Fuchsias have deep green, heavily veined leaves that can either be deciduous or evergreen depending on the species. The pendulous flowers are very attractive; they have long tubes with flared sepals and contrasting coloured sepals occurring mostly in shades of white, purple and pink. The fruit of the fuchsia species is edible and is said to taste like citrus and pepper. It can be made into jams however fruits of some fuchsia species leave a bad aftertaste.
Fuchsias are grown for their attractive flowers; there are currently 100 recognized species with a vast majority of them native to South America. A few occur north through Central America and to Mexico. There are also several species from New Zealand to Tahiti. With the decorative flowers of fuchsias and lush foliage, they offer tremendous ornamental qualities and are often ideal for hedges, containers and hanging baskets.
All fuchsias have the same care routine. For fuchsias grown in the garden use fertile, moist but well-drained soil is advised and shelter from cold and drying winds. For fuchsias grown in containers, use a loam-based potting compost or peat-free multipurpose compost. Fuchsias prefer shade during the hottest part of the day and do not like excessive water.
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