Saturday, December 10, 2011

CA fuchsia ~ 12/10/11 ~ Los Padres Dam

California fuchsia / hummingbird trumpet
Epilobium canum (formerly Zauschneria californica)
Onagraceae

I was pleased to find CA fuchsia blooming out in the wild in December. It's a cheery Christmassy color. I didn't know the seeds would be fluffy. Actually, I rarely find it growing wild because of my hiking location choices and time of year I most often hike (spring). I doubt I'd recognize this plant if it weren't in bloom. I should have taken better pictures of its leaves. The CA fuchsia is a very popular native plant with gardeners these days, and I often see it used in landscaping around town and on CA garden blogs, like Camissonia's Corner and Sierra Foothill Garden. I didn't see any hummingbirds feeding on it, but I know they're around. I should point out the CA fuchsia is not a real fuchsia; it's a willowherb.

6 comments:

Martha Z said...

I remember seeing this plant years ago at Fort Ross. There were so many hummers feeding at it I couldn't believe it,they are usually so territorial. It was probably migration since I have noticed they are more tolerant of one another at that time.
I noticed that you are a new follower, welcome.

Imperfect and tense said...

Whoa! That's some funky-coloured willowherb! It certainly knocks our pink/pale purple flowered varieties into next week. I bet they're a sight with hummingbirds as well :o)

Waypoints said...

Another new common name for me, "hummingbird trumpet". I like it! I see CA fuchsia a lot in grasslands, only in late season. It's often the only thing blooming this late.

John W. Wall said...

I overheard a gardener tell someone he was giving a tour to at Strybing Arboretum that Cal. fuchsia grows everywhere except where you plant it....

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Martha, you get around CA. I've enjoyed your MM blog for some time. I think the late bloom and hummingbirds are the reasons why it's such a popular garden plant.

Graeme, I'd be curious to see some UK willowherbs on your blog (hint, hint).

Randy, I figured you've heard of everything already. I suspect I've passed this plant quite a bit during hikes, just not in bloom. I'm hoping to get out again this weekend to see what else is still blooming.

Interesting, John. I'll have to remember that if I ever have a garden. Based on my pics you'd think it likes full sun, but I also spotted it blooming in a shaded ravine.

Imperfect and tense said...

OK, Katie, I'll stick a note in my diary. It'll soon be June! I blithely assumed that we only had 2 species (1 native, 1 introduced), but there are at least 24 Epilobiums listed in my ID guide. Crikey!