Now this is the tree fuchsia, from Mexico, and it’s not your common or garden fuschsia. First, Fuchsia Arborescens is bigger, though it can be kept pruned to the size you want. Second, its lilac pink tubular flowers are borne in erect clusters (and on a pretty continuous basis). Hardy to around -2C. Sheltered shaded spot. Any reasonable soil. 6 feet. 1 litre pot.


Fuschsia Arborescens is a native of cool mountainous areas in Central America and, as a result, doesn’t like it too hot or too cold. Avoid planting it where it will be exposed to too much direct sunlight when the sun is at full strength: a bit of shade is not a bad thing, as with most fuchsias. Equally, although it will survive a few degrees of frost (possibly losing its leaves as a result), it is best to protect it from the worst of the winter weather, either by fleecing or similar if planted in the ground, or by having it in a pot that can be moved to somewhere sheltered and frost free if conditions are cold.

The tubular nature of the flowers and the fact that the clusters of buds are deep pink with the flowers themselves a lighter shade of the same colour creates an effect reminiscent of fireworks - sparklers, someone has suggested - which makes this upright bushy shrub a delight for most of the year, as it certainly isn’t shy to flower. And following the flowers, there are almost spherical dark blue berries which reputedly taste similar to kiwi fruit, though we can’t claim to have tried it ourselves.

Although Fuschsia Arborescens, in line with its species name, wants to grow upwards into quite a tall shrub, it is fairly easy to keep it more compact, if that’s your preference, by pruning early and later in the season. You will get a nice branching shape and lots of opportunities for those clusters of pink fireworks to develop.

Fuschsia Arborescens is a tender evergreen shrub with clusters of tubular pink flowers for most of the year suitable for a sheltered spot or as a pot specimen.

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