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Turquoise Puya

Fuchsia x colensoi

This a close-up look at the rare Fuchsia x colensoi from New Zealand.  This unusual Fuchsia has an odd color combination of dark blue and chartreuse, which changes to bright purple as the flowers mature.  And check out that electric-blue pollen!  The plant is said to be a naturally-occurring hybrid between two New Zealand natives, Fuchsia excorticata (the world's largest Fuchsia) and Fuchsia perscandens.  It is very hard to find, and rarely seen in cultivation.  Fresh seeds are rarely seen for sale.

Fuchsia x colensoi

Fuchsia x colensoi forms an upright, woody shrub with attractive, peeling bark.  It grows about 7 feet tall here in San Francisco, but you can prune to any size that's convenient, and even grow it as a bonsai plant.  It tends drop at least some of its leaves in winter, and flowers appear from spring through autumn.  The glossy, inch-long blooms emerge directly from the branches, instead of the newer growth like most Fuchsias.  After flowering, it makes dark blue fruits that are edible.  They are lightly sweet, tasting sort of like grapes, but not as sweet.

Like most Fuchsias, it prefers mild daytime temperatures and cool nights.  I don't know anyone growing it in a warm climate, but i suspect it might not be happy if temperatures regularly get above 85F (29C) and nights are above 65F (18C).  It might be able to tolerate warmer conditions if nights are cool.  It can probably survive a few degrees of frost, best it's best to keep it from freezing.  It grows well in a pot in well-draining, fertile soil kept evenly moist, similar to other Fuchsias.  It prefers part sun, with protection from strong afternoon sun.  Over about 40-45% humidity is best.  In the right conditions, it's easy to grow.  The plant is resistant to Fuchsia mites.

Fuchsia x colensoi

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Germination tips for this plant

 

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