Fuchsias are named after the German botanist Leonard Fuchs. Hybridization began in about 1825. There is now a wealth of colour and shape which continues to change and improve today.
The vast majority of wild or species fuchsia are found in the foothills of Central and South America. Some are a great deal more hardy than others. The Encliandra group come mostly from Mexico and Central America characterized by their small foliage and tiny flowers. These fuchsia are so flexible they can be trained around wire shapes to produce spirals.
Fuchsia Microphylla has lived in the Penmere Plants gardens in Cheshire for the last fifteen years. The top growth can be trimmed back each year as it regrows and flowers into early November.
More traditional shaped fuchsia Glazouiana and Hatsbachii come from Brazil. They both have single dainty flowers, but the young foliage has a lovely coppery colour.
New Zealand has produced some fuchsia which are not instantly recognisable as fuchsia. Fuchsia Procumbens trails from baskets or over a wall. The flower points up and the pollen is bright blue. They then form huge berries which can be made into jam, although they are a little bit sour. Fuchsia Excorticata can reach several feet in height, however the top growth can be trimmed. The flowers are produced on the trunk of the fuchsia before the leaves. The large green leaves are silvery green underneath, Fuchsia Perscandens is a naturally vigorous and climbing plant with similar upturned flowers but not as hardy excorticata.