The genus, named after the physician and botanist L. Fuchs, contains about 70 species found in tropical America and New Zealand. They are shrubs or small trees, often with drooping branches. The leaves are opposite or in whorls, toothed, with minute deciduous stipules. Theare borne in the axils of the leaves, one or several in each, on drooping stalks. The flower consists of a tubular calyx with four sepals and a four- to five-petalled corolla.
Fuchsia magellanica is a native of Chile and Argentina. It grows to a height of 5 m (16 ft), has purplish-red branches and flowers from July to October. Best known forms are conica, with red calyx and dark violet petals; the cultivar ‘Gracilis’, with bright red flowers; ‘Mme Cornelissen’, with red and white flowers; ‘Molinae’, with pale pink flowers, and ‘Riccartonii’, one of the hardiest forms, which has slender, long pendent flowers with glowing red calyx and purplish-violet corolla.
Fuchsia magellanica is propagated mostly by means of softwood cuttings. It has no special requirements as regards location but themust be moderately damp and sufficiently nourishing. In dry as well as soil the plant wilts and the leaves drop. This is an excellent plant for growing outdoors in ornamental containers; it is particularly good in grass, on and next to small features of garden architecture.