Fuchsia magellanica var. molinae
Plant of the month: January
Study Centre Beds
An arching hardy shrubby fuchsia with free branching reddish shoots, pale pink flowers and dark green foliage. It looks great and grows very well in an informal moist woodland environment. In the wild, in Chile and Argentina, the pale pink variety of this species of fuchsia is often ignored by the Patagonian sierra finch who consumes the redder flowers of the typical fuchsias. The humming bird, which is the preferred pollinator of both red and pink varieties, still recognises the flowers and feeds on the nectar pollinating the plant in the process. Thus var. molinae is preserved in the population by being preferentially pollinated. This species is named magellanica after the Straits of Magellan in South America where it is found.