The fuchsia, scientifically also called Fuchsia, belongs to a species-rich genus of the evening primrose family (Onagraceae). This genus currently includes about 107 different species and about 12,000 different varieties. The fuchsia is named after the German physician and botanist Leonhart Fuchs.
Depending on the type of fuchsia, its appearance varies greatly. On the one hand, the genus of the plant includes low-growing species (for example, Fuchsia procumbens), which grows only a few centimeters high. However, Fuchsia excorticata also belongs to the said genus, which grows into whole trees and reaches a considerable height of growth of almost ten meters. Most often, however, the fuchsia is found as a shrub, with different species distinguished by different densities of branching. Fuchsias are characterized by a bulbous root. Their foliage leaves are mostly elliptical, have a weakly to moderately toothed leaf margin, and are long-stalked.
The fuchsia has a four-petaled flower located at the end of a flower stalk that is two to eight inches long. The color of the flower stalk varies greatly from one species of fuchsia to another and can be either red or green in color. The underside ovary, which consists of twelve chambers, can also take on the same coloration. The sepals and corollas of the fuchsia are variously colored in many species. The color spectrum ranges from red and purple to pink to white. The pistil of the flower usually extends far out of the corolla and is surrounded by eight stamens, which are often shorter than the pistil, but also protrude from the corolla.
Depending on the species, the formation of the fuchsia fruit differs greatly. Fuchsias form peppercorn- to cherry-sized fruits, which usually have a purple or black coloration.
Fuchsias are quite common all over the world, as they have a wide range of distribution. They are especially common in America from northern Mexico down to Tierra del Fuego.
Numerous products such as liqueurs, jams, baked goods or candied fruits can be made from the sweet neutral tasting ripe fruits, which can be recognized by their soft flesh. However, care must be taken that only some species of fuchsia are edible. So if you want to use them in your own products, you should know them well! Mostly it is therefore only used as an ornamental plant and is therefore often found in gardens.
In Europe fuchsias are known only since the early 18th century. It was used especially from the 19th century, when it became a desirable ornamental plant. To this day, the fuchsia is often found in Central Europe as a decoration in potted plants, balcony plants or in garden perennials. Regions that are climatically favorable for the fuchsia, it is used worldwide as an ornamental plant. In this regard, it has a considerable breeding history.