Plant of the day: California fuchsia

It’s a treat to see a whole cliff-full of flowers blooming at this time of year–but that’s just what I found on Mt. Tam the other day. California fuchsia (Epilobium canum) is a late bloomer that you can see in scattered spots throughout the bay area.

Hummingbirds pollinate this flower, attracted by the scarlet, trumpet-shaped blooms. Other common names include hummingbird flower or hummingbird trumpet. It sports these flowers at the end of long stalks densely covered with small, slightly wooly leaves. This perennial plant can be woody at the base (the technical term for this is suffrutescent) but it is usually fairly low growing, with several sprawling stems that are around one foot long. California fuchsia is in the Onagraceae family along with other showy blooms like fireweed, clarkia, and evening primrose.

I saw it growing on a hot, southwest-facing road cut as Pantoll climbs up towards Rock Springs.


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Filed under Good for gardens, Native, Plant of the day

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