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Turquoise Puya

Fuchsia crassistipula

This a rare look at Fuchsia crassistipula from the cool Andes mountains in Colombia.  Not only does it have amazing blooms, but its purple leaves are one the most beautiful of all Fuchsia species.  They have an unusual iridescent sheen that sparkles in sunlight!  This is a choice collector's plant that happens to be easy to grow.  It is very rare in cultivation, and seldom seen for sale.  I don't know anyone currently offering it.

Fuchsia crassistipula

Fuchsia crassistipula is an evergreen species with an upright growth habit, growing 4 to 6 feet tall here in San Francisco.  The leaves are a velvety, deep-green flushed with purple.  The purple coloration is the most prominent on the newer growth, especially when grown in bright light.  The flowers appear during summer and autumn in large clusters from the ends of the branches.  The 2 inch blooms are intensely-colored, which contrasts well with the darker leaves.  The blooms have a bright pink tube with lavender overtones, and flaring scarlet petals.  After flowering, it makes dark purple fruits that are edible.  They have a lightly-sweet flavor, making them a nice treat while wandering through the garden!  You might be able to cross-breed this plant with some related Fuchsia species to create new hybrids.

Fuchsia crassistipula

It comes from mountain cloud forests in Colombia, and like most Fuchsias, it prefers mild daytime temperatures and cool nights.  It should be able to tolerate warm days provided that nights are cool.  I don't know if it will thrive if temperatures regularly get above 85F (29C) with nights above 65F (18C).  I don't think it can survive temperatures below freezing.  It enjoys filtered sunlight, and should be given protection from strong afternoon sun.  It grows well in a pot in well-draining soil that is kept evenly moist, similar to other Fuchsias.  Over about 40% humidity is best.  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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