Flora of Northern Ireland
Fuchsia magellanica
© Paul Hackney
Fuchsia magellanica
© Roy Anderson
Fuchsia magellanica
(Map updated: March 2008)
 

The wild fuchsia of Ireland's hedgerows, especially those of the west of Ireland, is famous and has featured on many a tourist brochure. But the plant is not a native to Ireland, or any other part of the Old World, being an introduction from Chile.

It has been widely used in Northern Ireland, particularly near the coast, as a hedging plant, because it is a vigorous and fast grower. It produces its flowers in great abundance from about midsummer until the early winter. These flowers are pollinated by humming-birds in their Chilean homeland, but by insects in Ireland. Sausage-shaped fruits are produced by some, but not all, stands of the plant, and there is evidence of some spread of the species by seed away from planted shrubs or hedges. Spread may also occur from fragments of plants thrown out with garden rubbish. The vast majority of plants, however, have been planted deliberately in gardens or hedgerows.

All names: Fuchsia magellanica Lam.; Fuchsia gracilis Lindl.; Fuchsia riccartoni auct.