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Fuchsia à grandes fleurs (Fuchsia boliviana) - Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton © MNHN - Christophe Joulin
Fuchsia à grandes fleurs (Fuchsia boliviana) - Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton © MNHN - Christophe Joulin

Bolivian Fuchsia

This fuchsia, native to South America, has a spectacular blossom but is considered an invasive plant in some regions, such as in Reunion.

Identity Card

Common name
Bolivian Fuchsia
Binominal name
Fuchsia boliviana Carr.

Taxonomy

Kingdom
Plantae
Family
Onagraceae
Synonyms
Fuchsia boliviana var. luxurians I. M. Johnst.

Detailed Informations

Area of origin
Argentina, Bolivia, Peru

Etymology

Fuchsia is a genus named to honour the memory of German botanist Leonhart Fuchs; boliviana means “from Bolivia”.

Description and flowering period

It is a fast growing shrub reaching up to 6 meters in height. Its persistent leaves have a hairy red petiole (leaf-stalk) and are shaped like a spear-head. They are slightly crimped and are speckled with small greenish-white dots which are characteristic of the species. The flowers are borne at the end of its arched branches, in pendulous clusters. They consist of an elongated tubular calyx ending in 4 pointed lobes, crowned by 4 ovoid petals. Both calyx and corolla are a bright scarlet red. The fruits are elongated berries which turn purple to nearly black upon maturation.

Habitat

It requires a fresh, rich yet well-drained soil in a full or part-shade location. It can only be planted in a subtropical climate as the plant is intolerant of both drought or light frosts.

Uses

  • Ornamental, appreciated for its showy, lengthy and abundant flowering.

Notes

It is now considered to be an invasive species in some areas, such as the Réunion island. There is a horticultural variety called ‘Alba’ having a white calyx and red petals.

Translated by: François Saint-Hillier – MNHN