Fuchsia Triphylla Group
Hybrids from the species Fuchsia triphylla are some of the most robust Fuchsia to grow in Sydney, where the more flamboyant types are not always easy to cultivate. The original species was first discovered in the Dominican Republic/Haiti in the late 17th century. It was crossed with F. fulgens and F. splendens to produce hybrid forms now referred to as the Triphylla Group. These hybrids have long-tubed, single flowers, held in clustered bunches, most commonly coloured vibrant red or orange-red (but pink versions do exist) and appearing almost all year round in our climate. The velvety foliage is often dark tinted. The plants grow into shrubs about 75-90 cm in height. They will grow in sun or part-shade and like a well-drained, humus-rich soil and some mulch during the warmer months. Like most Fuchsia, they do not like waterlogged soil, which can cause fungus problems. They can be pruned in late August to keep them compact. Propagation is by cuttings taken in autumn or spring.
Three well-known cultivars are 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt' with brick-red flowers, 'Thalia' with orange-scarlet blooms and 'Coralle' with orange-red or salmon-pink flowers. 'Billy Green' (pictured) has rich pink blooms; another beautiful pink form is (I believe) called 'Gerharda's Panache' - it may have a more complex parentage than some of the others. It flowers over the same extended period as the others. The red and orange cultivars look good grown amongst other hot-coloured flowers, such as Canna, Dahlia and Salvia. The foliage looks effective when grown nearby other dark leaves, such as Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'. The pink-coloured ones are pretty with cool-coloured Salvia, Plectranthus or Hydrangea.
Flowers in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.