Fuchsia magelanica ‘molinae’

30 Apr

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This is quite possibly the hardiest of my fuchsias, and is reliably one of the first to bloom here. In a mild winter, it will even remain partly evergreen, in which case it will start blooming in late spring, often in April but usually by May even in a cd year. It also has one of the most upright, almost tree forms of any of the magelanica types I grow. At one point my old one was pushing fifteen feet tall, before a killer winter took it all the way down to the found again. I lost a bunch of hardy fuchsias that year, the only two to survive for me were this one, and my grandmother’s heirloom type.

Luckily for me, the hummingbirds also seem to like this cultivar, which from what I gather is a selection from the wild of the straight species. I don’t know if the white color (actually palest pink and lavender, which mostly shows in cooler spring and fall weather, but is apparent on close inspection) is normal and common where it is from, or if this represents a kind of floral albinism, but it is lovely and distinctive.

Like most fuchsias, it seems easy enough to propagate from cuttings most of the year when in active growth. Hard or soft wood seems to make little difference, just make sure the cuttings don’t dry out too much, and are protected from direct sun or wind. Once established, they are pretty drought tolerant, though. Summer water does keep them flowering better, and develop into a larger shrub, which may or may not be a good thing. This has been a long time favorite in my garden, both of the gardener and for hummingbirds.

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