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111-Year-Old Fuchsia

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

I hope someone finds this interesting. This is a fuchsia planted in 1899 (or earlier). http://www.olivasadobe.org/virtual-tour-grounds.html This is just a rough guess, but I'd say it is 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide.

Thumbnail by Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

There are two of them, but one is a lot taller than the other.

Thumbnail by Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

closeup of the flowers

In case you are wondering, it does not get extremely hot here (Ventura, CA) and the plants are on the north side of the house.

Thumbnail by Kelli
Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Wow! That is just gorgeous!! Do you know the name? It looks like "Rose of Castille" which was hybridized in 1855. Thank you so much for posting this!

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

I don't remember if the name was listed or not.

I did a little searching on the web and the name might be "Shiller, Banks1860", or "Venus Vtrix". I don't know much about fuchsias, so I don't know if those names even make any sense or if they're even spelled correctly.

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

I did some looking. It doesn't look to be Venus Victrix. Rose of Castile is a much better match.

This is Schiller (Banks, 1860) http://www.nwfuchsiasociety.com/hardies/images/schiller.jpg Small picture but good match.


111 years is amazing to me, though. Here at El Rancho Blast Furnace, I kept a fuchsia alive for about two years and thought I did pretty well. (It was given to me, otherwise I would not have bought a fuchsia in this climate.)

This message was edited Oct 8, 2010 10:19 AM

New York, NY

According to Salli Dahl in her book, Wildly Seeking Fuchsias, the three plants are 'Schiller' (Banks, 1860). In a 1977 interview with the Ventura Historical Society, Arthur Alvord recalled that had helped Mary de la Riva plant the fuchsias when he went to Olivas with his mother to look at the ranch about 1899 when it was for sale. The fuchsias themselves were purchased from the pioneering California nursery woman, Theodosia Shepherd, who had opened her nursery in Ventura in 1886 and already listed 'Schiller' in her 1888 catalogue of offerings.

For those who had it pegged as 'Rose of Castille,' you needn't doubt your eyes. There is some indication that it might just be synonymous with 'Schiller.' Early "florists," like the large plant-producing companies of today, were not above switching names to suit sales. Also, the American Victor Reiter named one of his own hybrids 'Schiller' in 1940. This is not the same cultivar as the Banks 'Schiller' from England.

In conversations with local fuchsia fans and supporters of Olivas, the historic fuchsias are pruned once a year. The cuttings are offered free for the taking to members. Yet another reason to support local gardens and institutions! This year, however, renovations are apparently taking place on the buildings and the fuchsias won't be pruned until that work is over.

This message was edited Oct 16, 2010 11:40 AM

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

Thank you for providing that information, Fuchsius!

New York, NY

Quote from Kelli :
Thank you for providing that information, Fuchsius!


You're very welcome. It was actually fresh on my mind. I was in Portland a couple of weeks ago on "The Oregon Trail of Fuchsias" and, of course, the topic of the amazing Olivas fuchsias came up several times.

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Thanks for the info Fuchsius! And you are so right about some nurseries naming and renaming fuchsias as they please. I was looking for upright fuchsias in a nursery a few weeks ago and took some photos. Writing down the names on the tags. When I went to look them up to find their date of introduction and who hybridized them, they could not be found! The American Fuchsia Society was able to identify them for me. When I asked the nursery about this, they said the supplier had named them after their relatives and that they were not the same fuchsias as identified by the American Fuchsia Society, but sports that the nursery had come across from their stock.
Some fuchsia flowers can look so much alike that it is hard to identify them. So historical information like yours and Salli's (of the Northwest Fuchsia Society) is invaluable!
And is a strong argument for providing photos of the leaves along with the flower, as the leaves can be as distinctive as the flower and often the deciding factor in indentification.

Bajamar, Mexico

This is very cool. I lived not five minutes from Olivas Adobe for ten years, at Pierpont Beach, and played at the golf course hundreds of times. I had no idea that a 111 year old fuchsia was there. Next time I'm on Harbor Blvd or Olivas Park Rd, I'm gonna stop and take a look. Thanks for telling us.

Hiouchi, CA(Zone 8b)

i have not verified it, don't even know how
but locals here say there are Fuchsias 100 yrs old around here also, wonder where they came from ?
i will ask one of the old time nurseries and see if they know.
they are growing wild in the forest & they are growing wild alongside the roads
we just break a branch off and literally stick it in the ground and it grows
i have seen some plants 12 ft high and 16 ft wide
people take picts of the wild Rhodys and Azaleas rather then the fuchsia
because the Rhodys and Azaleas are more flamboyant
i will stop and take picts of some of them next spring

Dick

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

Interesting

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

I can't wait to see! They have been hybridizing fuchsias since the mid 1800's and I have heard that a few species have gone wild in northern California. But it would be awesome to see some wild hybrids!

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

This is all so interesting! I loved the story.

I have not noticed your great pictures posted in PF lately, Kelli. I miss them!

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

Well, I'll see what I can do. :-)

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

Great! LOL. You always have great ones!

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