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Fuchsia juntasensis

This is a close look at the beautiful Fuchsia juntasensis.  Its tubular blooms have an unusual pinkish-lavender color, and curiously lack petals.  A picture of the plant in full bloom is here.  This is an epiphytic species from cool cloud forests of the Andes mountains.  It's an excellent collector's plant that is rarely seen for sale.

Fuchsia juntasensis

Fuchsia juntasensis (pronounced hoon-tuh-sen-sis) grows about 3 to 5 feet tall and wide, and can form small tubers.  It tends to drop most or all of its leaves in winter, and blooming starts around the same time.  The flowers form in clusters at the ends of the woody branches.  Each cluster has about a dozen blooms, which open 2 or 3 at a time over a period of several weeks.  The lilac-colored blooms have bright orange anthers, and they lack petals, similar to the related Fuchsia tilletiana.  After flowering, it forms striking orange fruit, which is pretty strange for Fuchsias!  The fruit is edible and has a lightly sweet flavor.  This is a true species, not a hybrid.

Fuchsia juntasensis

The plant comes from the mountains of Colombia and Peru, where the temperature is cool to mild all year.  This Fuchsia enjoys temperatures between 45-75 F (7-24C). I have no information on how much heat it can take, but i suspect it won't thrive if temperatures are consistently above 85 degrees F (29C), particularly if nights are warm.  It probably can survive a few degrees of frost, but i recommend keeping it from freezing, especially if you wish to see the winter flowers.  It grows well indoors in a pot in a loose, fast-draining soil mix that is high in organic matter.  A typical mix is equal parts of potting soil, fine orchid bark, and perlite or pumice rock.  Like most Fuchsias, it prefers bright shade or well-filtered sunlight.  Protection from strong afternoon sun is necessary.  Over about 50% humidity is recommended.  Trim back the longer branches after flowering to give the plant a compact, bushy shape.  This is a mite-resistant species.

Fuchsia juntasensis

 

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Turquoise Puya

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