The first record of fuchsias was published in 1703 by Father Charles
Plumier, a Catholic missionary in Santo Domingo. He called the
plant Fuchsia triphylla flore coccinea after a colleague of his,
The first fuchsia to reach England was recorded in the Botanical Magazine
Within a few years, several other fuchsia species were introduced to
England, and these were crossed to produce the ancestors of the
fuchsias we know today. This process of crossing varieties
continued throughout the 1800s with fuchsias reaching the height
of their popularity in late Victorian times.
The first World War saw great interest in vegetable growing, and the
fuchsia, along with many other decorative plants declined in
popularity. In the 1930s, the Americans set to work on fuchsias
and this resulted in larger flowers in a larger range of plants.
until the mid 1950s that the fuchsia regained popularity in the
UK, but this second wave of popularity has remained to the present days.
Fuchsias are one genus of the botanical family Onagraceae, and
they are therefore related to other members of the genus
such as godetia and evening primrose.
Within the fuchsia genus there are over one hundred separate
species - for example Fuchsia fulgens and Fuchsia magellanica.
Within the various species of fuchsia there are many cultivars
and varieties. A 'variety' is a naturally occurring
plant which is different from others within a species
(e.g. Fuchsia regia var. alpestris). A 'cultivar' is the
same, but the plant has been 'man made'. The majority of
commercially available fuchsia today are cultivars such
as 'Display' and 'Riccartonii'.
Cultivars and Varieties