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Fuchsia Flower

Fuchsia Flower
Fuchsia Flower
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Fuchsia Flower by Ann Deepwater. Fuchsia Flower, still life Oil on Canvas ADJ03

The   first   fuchsia   was   discovered   in   the   Dominican   Republic     the    late    17th    Century    by   Father    Charles    Plumier,    a missionary   and   botanist   of   that   time.   He   named   the   plant Fuchsia   triphylla   coccinea   after   Leonard   Fuchs,   a   German botanist    who    had    died    100    years    earlier.    Incidentally,    his name   was   pronounced   ‘Fooks’   so   perhaps   we   should   be pronouncing fuchsias as ‘fooksias'. With   the   discovery   of   other   fuchsia   species   it   wasn’t   long   before   the   hybridisers   got   to   work.   The   varieties we   see   today   are   the   result   of   many,   many   years   of   careful   hybridising.  Not   all   were   the   result   of   long   hours of   pollinating   and   cross   pollinating   or   selecting   the   best   one   out   of   hundreds   of   seedlings   or   the   long   wait for   the   first   flower   to   appear   to   see   if   it   was   unique.   Quite   a   few   were   chance   seedlings,   the   most   famous one   being   ‘Mieke   Meursing’   which   was   found   growing   on   the   bench   under   a   plant   of   ‘R.A.F.’   It   turned   out   to make   one   of   the   biggest   impacts   on   the   show   benches   ever   seen.   It   was   a   delight   for   both   the   exhibitor   and nurseryman.   It   had   all   the   qualities   needed   for   a   show   plant   and   it   produced   enough   cutting   material   to make any nurseryman more than happy. Nature takes over again!    Fuchsias   were   at   their   peak   of   popularity   in   the   Victorian   times   when   the   head           gardeners   of   large   houses grew   pillars,   standards   and   pyramids   to   line   the   driveways.   One   such   gentleman   was   James   Lye   who   was head   gardener   at   Clyffe   Hall,   Market   Lavington.   He   became   a   grower,   exhibitor   and   hybridist   of   fuchsias and   produced   plants   eight   to   ten   feet   high   and   four   to   five   feet   across   the   base   and   by   1866   was   described as Champion Fuchsia Grower in the West of England

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