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Fuchsia magellanica

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Onagraceae (Willowherb)
Deciduous shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
3 metres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, wasteland, woodland.

Red, 4 petals
Hanging tubular flowers with red sepals and purple petals, attractive to many insects, including bees.
Black berries, long-stalked.
Deciduous shrub. Dark green elliptical or ovate leaves, some with serrated margins. Sometimes tinged red.
Other Names:
Earring Flower, Hardy Fuchsia, Hummingbird Fuchsia, Lady's Eardrops.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Fuchsia magellanica is a species of flowering plant in the Onagraceae family. It is native to southern South America, particularly in Chile and Argentina. It is a perennial shrub, that can grow to 3-10ft (1-3m) tall and wide. It has small green leaves and it produces pendulous, brightly colored flowers that are typically pink, purple or red. The flowers are tubular in shape and have four petals, with the upper two being sepals, which are usually larger and more colorful than the lower two petals, which are called the petals. The plant blooms from late spring to fall. This species is popular among gardeners due to its attractive flowers and hardiness, and is often grown as a ornamental shrub in temperate regions.


Fuchsia magellanica, commonly known as the hummingbird fuchsia or hardy fuchsia, is a species of flowering plant that belongs to the family Onagraceae. This beautiful shrub is native to southern Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland Islands, where it grows in moist soils along streams and in forest clearings.

The Fuchsia magellanica is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, but it is usually smaller in cultivation. It has an upright habit and a rounded shape, with arching branches that are covered in a soft, reddish-brown bark. The leaves are oval, pointed, and up to 4 inches long, with a glossy, dark green color on the top and a slightly paler tone on the underside.

The most distinctive feature of the Fuchsia magellanica is its striking, pendulous flowers, which are produced from early summer until the first frost. Each flower is about 1 inch long and has four narrow petals that are fused together at the base, forming a tube-like structure. The sepals, which are usually colored differently from the petals, flare outwards, creating a striking contrast. The flowers are usually pink or purple, but there are also cultivars with white or red blooms.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Fuchsia magellanica is its ability to attract hummingbirds, which are known to feed on the nectar produced by its flowers. This has made the plant a popular choice for birdwatchers and gardeners alike, who enjoy watching these tiny birds darting in and out of the blooms.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Fuchsia magellanica also has several medicinal uses. The Mapuche people, who are indigenous to southern Chile and Argentina, have used the plant's leaves and bark to treat a variety of ailments, including stomach problems, headaches, and menstrual cramps. The plant contains several compounds with anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant properties, which may explain its traditional use as a natural remedy.

Growing Fuchsia magellanica is relatively easy, as long as you provide it with the right growing conditions. The plant prefers moist, well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter, and it does best in partial shade or dappled sunlight. It is also important to water the plant regularly, especially during hot, dry spells, and to fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer once or twice a year.

Fuchsia magellanica is a hardy plant that can withstand temperatures as low as -10°F (-23°C) and can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 10. It is also resistant to most common plant diseases and pests, which makes it a low-maintenance plant. Pruning is necessary to keep the plant tidy and to promote better flowering. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth starts.

There are several cultivars of Fuchsia magellanica, including 'Alba' with white flowers, 'Aurea' with yellow-green leaves, 'Hawkshead' with single white flowers, and 'Riccartonii' with pink and purple flowers. The cultivar 'Tricolor' has variegated leaves that are green, pink, and white.

Fuchsia magellanica can be grown in containers, which makes it suitable for small gardens or balconies. When grown in a container, it is important to use a well-draining soil mix and to water the plant regularly. Fuchsia magellanica can also be propagated from cuttings taken in summer, which is an easy way to get new plants.

In addition to its ornamental and medicinal uses, Fuchsia magellanica has several other uses. The plant's wood is hard and durable, and it has been used for making tool handles and other small items. The plant's fruits are edible and have a tangy, slightly sweet flavor. The fruits can be eaten raw or used to make jams and jellies.

Fuchsia magellanica is not only a great addition to outdoor spaces but also a popular indoor plant. It can be grown as a houseplant in bright, indirect light and a well-draining soil mix. When grown indoors, it is important to maintain a consistent watering schedule and to fertilize the plant regularly with a balanced fertilizer.

Fuchsia magellanica has also been used in traditional medicine as a natural remedy for conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, and eczema. The plant contains several bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, and terpenoids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antioxidant properties. These compounds may help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which are associated with many chronic diseases.

The plant's flowers are not only attractive to hummingbirds but also to bees and butterflies, making it a great choice for pollinator gardens. By planting Fuchsia magellanica in your garden, you can help to support local pollinators and promote biodiversity.

In addition to its horticultural and medicinal uses, Fuchsia magellanica has also been used in cultural traditions. In southern Chile, the Mapuche people use the plant's leaves to make a tea that is used for medicinal purposes and as a ceremonial drink. The plant is also used in traditional Welsh and Irish folklore as a symbol of good luck and protection.

Fuchsia magellanica is a popular plant for hybridization, which has led to the development of many new cultivars with different flower colors, shapes, and sizes. Some of the most popular hybrid cultivars include 'Alice Hoffman' with pink and white flowers, 'Annabel' with purple and red flowers, and 'Swingtime' with large, pendulous flowers in shades of red and white.

In recent years, Fuchsia magellanica has also gained popularity as a source of natural dye. The plant's flowers can be used to produce a range of colors, including pink, purple, and red, which can be used to dye fabrics and yarns. The plant's berries have also been used as a natural dye for wool.

Fuchsia magellanica has a fascinating history and has been used by many cultures throughout the world. The plant is native to South America and was first discovered by European explorers in the 16th century. It was named after the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who led the first circumnavigation of the globe. The plant was introduced to Europe in the 18th century and quickly became a popular ornamental plant.

Today, Fuchsia magellanica continues to be a beloved plant for its striking flowers, attractive foliage, and ease of cultivation. Whether you're a gardener, a birdwatcher, or someone interested in natural remedies and dyeing, Fuchsia magellanica is a plant that offers something for everyone.

In addition to its ornamental and practical uses, Fuchsia magellanica has ecological importance. The plant provides habitat and food for a variety of wildlife, including hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The plant's berries are also eaten by birds and other small animals, which helps to spread the plant's seeds and promote new growth.

Fuchsia magellanica is also an important plant for conservation efforts. In its native range in South America, the plant is threatened by habitat loss and overharvesting for medicinal and ornamental purposes. In some regions, the plant has been listed as endangered or vulnerable by conservation organizations. By growing Fuchsia magellanica in gardens and promoting its conservation in the wild, we can help to protect this valuable plant for future generations.

Another interesting fact about Fuchsia magellanica is that it is a member of the Onagraceae family, which includes several other popular garden plants such as evening primrose (Oenothera spp.), willowherb (Epilobium spp.), and fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium). This family of plants is known for its showy flowers and medicinal properties, which have been used by indigenous cultures around the world for centuries.

In conclusion, Fuchsia magellanica is a remarkable plant that offers a range of benefits to people, wildlife, and the environment. Whether you're looking for a beautiful and low-maintenance plant for your garden, a source of natural remedies or dyes, or a way to support pollinators and promote biodiversity, Fuchsia magellanica is a plant that is definitely worth exploring. By growing and appreciating this remarkable plant, we can help to ensure its survival and protect its many valuable benefits for future generations.

Facts about Fuchsia magellanica

Here are some bullet points with facts about Fuchsia magellanica:

  • Fuchsia magellanica is a species of flowering plant in the Onagraceae family.
  • It is native to South America, particularly Argentina and Chile.
  • The plant has small, oval-shaped leaves that are dark green in color.
  • Its flowers are pendulous, with four petals and sepals in shades of pink, red, and purple.
  • Fuchsia magellanica is a popular ornamental plant in gardens and can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
  • The plant has medicinal properties and has been used to treat conditions such as arthritis and eczema.
  • Fuchsia magellanica attracts hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, making it a great plant for pollinator gardens.
  • The plant's berries are edible and have been used to produce natural dyes for wool and other fibers.
  • Fuchsia magellanica is a member of the Onagraceae family, which includes other popular garden plants such as evening primrose and fireweed.
  • The plant is threatened in some areas due to habitat loss and overharvesting, and is listed as endangered or vulnerable in some regions.


Fuchsia filmed near Wigan, Lancashire on the 7th August 2022.


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