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Turquoise Puya

Fuchsia ayavacensis

This a close look at the rare Fuchsia ayavacensis from Peru and neighboring Ecuador.  This beautiful species blooms throughout the year, with loads of vibrant, tubular blossoms.  My camera has a hard time capturing the colors, but their tube is a pinkish orange, while the petals are traffic-cone orange.  The plant comes from cool mountain cloud forests, and is untested in warm climates.  If you can provide the right conditions, it's an excellent collector's plant.  It might not be available elsewhere online.

Fuchsia ayavacensis

Fuchsia ayavacensis is named for the Ayavaca region of Peru where it was originally found.  It's an evergreen shrub that typically grows 3 to 5 feet tall here in San Francisco.  It blooms most months of the year, with the biggest show from spring through autumn.  The 2-inch blossoms are often visited by hummingbirds.  After flowering, it makes edible red or purple fruits.  They have a lightly-sweet flavor, making a nice treat while roaming through the garden!  The plant might be able to cross-breed with some related Fuchsia species to create new hybrids.

Fuchsia ayavacensis

It comes from the Andes mountains at mid- to high-elevations, where the climate is mild to cool, and nights are cool.  I suspect it might not be happy if temperatures regularly get above 85 degrees F (29C) and nights are above 65 degrees F (18C).  It probably can only survive a light, brief frost, so it's best to protect it from freezing temperatures.  It grows well in a pot in well-draining, fertile soil that's kept evenly moist, similar to other Fuchsias.  It prefers part sun, with protection from strong afternoon sun.  Over about 40-45% humidity is best for this cloud forest plant.  This species is resistant to Fuchsia mites.

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Germination tips for this plant

 

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Turquoise Puya

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