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ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Fuchsia
Botanical name: Fuchsia spp.    Family: Onagraceae (Evening primrose family)

Fuchsia are flowering plants, mostly shrubs, which were named after the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566). Fuchsias are ideally suited for hanging baskets because of their drooping stems and colorful, bell-shaped flowers. The correct pronunciation is "fyooksiyaa", but in the US it has been modified to "fyoosha". There are about 100–110 species of Fuchsia. The great majority are native to South America. Fuchsia leaves are opposite or in whorls of 3–5, simple lanceolate and usually have serrated margins (entire in some species), 1–25 cm long, and can be either deciduous or evergreen depending on the species. The flowers are very decorative pendulous "eardrop" shape, borne in profusion throughout the summer and autumn, and all year in tropical species. They have four long, slender, sepals and four shorter, broader, petals; in many species the sepals are bright red and the petals purple, but the colours can vary from white to dark red, purple-blue, and orange. A few have yellowish tones, and recent hybrids have added the color white in various combinations. The ovary is inferior and the fruit is a small, 0.5–2.5 cm, dark reddish green, deep red, or deep purple, edible epigynous berry containing numerous very small seeds. Many people describe the fruit as having a subtle grape flavor spiced with black pepper.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Nainital, Shimla, Dharamsala and Manipur.
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