Melody suggested we write a Welcome Statement for our New Fuchsia Forum. I have a couple books from the library and here's a brief history lesson gleaned from my research:
Fuchsias were discovered during expeditions to the Americas in the 17th Century by Father Charles Plumier, who named the new species after the German physician and botanist, Leonhardt Fuchs. Though the first specimen, Fuchsia triphylla florecoccinea, was lost at sea, Plumier's detailed notes survived and the genus Fuchsia was created. Unfortunately, it took another 170 years before the first Fuchsia specimen safely made the ocean journey to Europe, F. coccinea. The plant was propagated in England and quickly became popular, which led to more nursery-sponsored botanical expeditions with the result of F. magellanica, F. fulgens, F. arborescens and F. lycoides being discovered.
In present day, Fuchsias are found growing in South America, Central America, Tahiti, and New Zealand. The species Fuchsia actually dates back 30 million years to fossilized pollen discovered in New Zealand.
The genus Fuchsia belongs to the Onagraceae family. There are well over a hundred species and more than 10,000 recognized hybrids. Fuchsias can be shrubs 5" tall to trees towering as high as 29'. They can trail gracefully from baskets, or be tuberous epiphytes living in their natural habitat in trees or amongst rocks. Fuchsias' preferred habitat is the rainy slopes of cool mountains, or tropical jungles and thick forests.
Beyond being ornamental, F. magellanica may have medicinal properties in the bark and leaves, whereas, F. procumbens and F. excorticata provide a blue pollen Maori women use for facial decoration.
Fuchsia hybrides were first attempted in the 19th Century. The result being 400+ cultivars by the turn of the century. The popularity of fuchsias peaked in England during the Victorian era, but when the American Fuchsia Society from California (founded in 1929), collected cultivars from Europe to bring back to the U.S., the fuchsia hybrid changed profoundly. The Americanized Fuchsia was a new, different variety in pastel colors. British imports of American Fuchsias in the 1950s restarted fuchsia popularity, which remains just as strong 50+ years later.
How would you write our Welcome Statement? Maybe we could say something like this:
"Fuchsias were discovered in the 17th Century by European expeditions to the Americas, the first species, F. triphylla florecoccinea, named for the German physician and botanist, Leonhardt Fuchs. When the species was presented in Europe they fell in love with dainty ballerinas dancing on tiptoes and vivid hues of clustering trumpet blooms. Then America added her pastel hybrids, and the Pacific Northwest became an excellent habitat for species and cultivars. But Fuchsia lovers exist worldwide. We share knowledge, cultivation, propagation, and the woes of living in the wrong zone. We never stop hoping someone will help us grow fuchsias when it is 95 degrees in the shade."
Melody suggested 75 to 100 words, but this ran a little over. Need help editing!
Do you have any ideas? We can edit in/out anything that doesn't work. I am open to all suggestions. As soon as we get something together we agree on, we can send to Melody for her approval.
Well said hummer_girl!
I would just add that there are over 10,000 recogonized hybrids now and hundreds of species. And something about the goal of the forum perhaps. Like sharing how to's, helping each other identify what in our gardens, adding to the Plant Files, and sharing our success with fuchsias. Or problems! ;-D
Yeah!!!!!!!!! We have a Fuchsia Forum!
I just took a look at the two forums with Welcome Statements and both of them are only about six lines long and have links. You've been doing allot of reading and studying hummer_girl, maybe this thread could be one about the history of fuchsias that you could host? I added a new fuchsia yesterday which was hybridized in 1841 and admin thought I had made a typo ;-D
You are also good a writing. I'd be interested in seeing what you can pack into six lines!
It can be a bit longer than 6 lines, but bear in mind that this is just a basic welcome/overview. We do like to include links to PF and the Bookworm just to give newbies a bit of direction as to what else is available. (I'll take care of inserting those links)
"Fuchsias were discovered in the 17th Century by European expeditions to the Americas, the first species, F. triphylla flore coccinea, named for the German physician and botanist, Leonhardt Fuchs. Europe fell in love with dainty ballerinas dancing on tiptoes and vivid hues of clustering trumpet blooms. Later, America added pastel hybrids and the Pacific Northwest became an excellent habitat for species and cultivars. But Fuchsia lovers exist worldwide. We share knowledge, cultivation, propagation, and the woes of living in the wrong zone. We never stop hoping someone will help us grow fuchsias when it is 95 degrees in the shade."
It is exactly 100 words! I think it covers what we need to express, but I am totally open to any and all suggestions to make it better.
Here is my version of an Welcome Statement. With words Plant Files to be a link to the fuchsia category :-)
“Fuchsias delight gardeners all over the world with their “ladies earrings” or “dancing ballerinas” in an amazing variety of forms and colors. From tiny little simple flowers to fist sized doubles, the color range fills the rainbow. They were named in honor of the German botanist Leonhardt Fuchs when Europeans first brought fuchsias from the Americas. And although the majority of them favor cool rainy mountainsides in tropical and sub-tropical forests, their habitats cover many zones. They make beautiful landscaping points of interest, are happy in containers, and can even be grown indoors. Many heat and/or cold tolerant varieties have been hybridized over a period of more than 170 years now. There are hundreds of species and over 10,000 recognized hybrids to choose from. Visit the fuchsia category in the Plant Files to view samples and learn more about which ones may interest you and your local hummingbirds.
Come share your fuchsia gardening adventures with us!”
Melody, I looked at the links to books, and there is only one :-) So I was wondering if we could leave that out for now? I also couldn't find an article about fuchsias here, just ones that mentioned fuchsias. Ha, ha, we need to write one, don't we!?
Thank you hummer_girl! Melody is reading this thread, so if we are all in agreement, she can move ahead with it. Doesn't look like anyone else wants to give it a try.
So to all those with ideas, speak up now! ;-)
I am in no rush, so if Melody feels we ought to wait and see, I'd be fine with that. It's only been a week and others could just be traveling, etc.
Thanks! And I received an interesting letter from the Northwest Fuchsia Society helping me to learn even more about fuchsia species. An area I never got into. So trust me, I have been learning ALLOT from my fellow members here at DavesGarden!