Fuchsia is a genus of flowering plants that consists mostly of shrubs or small trees in the family Onagraceae. The first, Fuchsia triphylla, was discovered on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola (present day Dominican Republic and Haiti) about 1696–1697 by the French Minim monk and botanist, Charles Plumier during his third expedition to the Greater Antilles. He named the new genus after the renowned German botanist Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566).
There are currently almost 110 recognized species of Fuchsia. The vast majority are native to South America, but with a few occurring north through Central America to Mexico, and also several from New Zealand to Tahiti. One species, F. magellanica, extends as far as the southern tip of South America, occurring on Tierra del Fuego in the cool temperate zone, but the majority are tropical or subtropical. Most fuchsias are shrubs from 0.2–4 m tall, but one New Zealand species, the kōtukutuku (F. excorticata), is unusual in the genus in being a tree, growing up to 12–15 metres.
Fuchsias are popular garden shrubs, and once planted can live for years with a minimal amount of care. The British Fuchsia Society maintains a list of "hardy" fuchsias that have been proven to survive a number of winters throughout Britain and to be back in flower each year by July. Enthusiasts report that hundreds and even thousands of hybrids survive and prosper throughout Britain. In the United States, the Northwest Fuchsia Society maintains an extensive list of fuchsias that have proven hardy in members' gardens in the Pacific Northwest over at least three winters.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.