Fuchsia 'Diana Wright'.
A beautiful pale flowered shrubby Fuchsia. In appearance it is very like F. magellanica var. molinae though with slightly larger flowers. It has the same pale, toothed foliage and pale cinnamon peeling bark on the stems. Unfortunately because of its similarity to the much commoner F. magellanica var. molinae there is a danger that it will slip out of cultivation without being noticed. This would be a great pity because it is a very different plant in other ways.
During the 1980's John Wright started a programme of hybridising Fuchsia species while studying the genus at the University of Reading. This is one of his more unexpected hybrids, raised by crossing F. magellanica var. molinae with F. fulgens. Both parents are reasonably hardy in the UK, F. fulgens may be cut to the ground in a hard winter but it usually regenerates strongly from the roots.
F. magellanica comes from the southern South America and is widespread in Argentina and Chile. It is very variable and a great many forms are cultivated. F. magellanica var. molinae is one of the forms that grow strong trunks with peeling bark and it makes a large shrub in the UK.
F. fulgens comes from the cloud forests of Mexico and has become inportant in recent years because it seems to be resistant to fuschia mites. 'Diana Wright' seems to inherit this resistance although there is very little else in its appearance to suggest its Mexican parent.
Registered in 1984, it went into the Plant Nannies project to encourage local growers to take it up. The first young plants have already been propagated and they will be appearing at some of our coming events.