California fuchsia goes by many common names, including hummingbird trumpet, hummingbird–flower, wild fuchsia, and zauschneria. Its showy scarlet-colored, trumpet-shaped flowers are highly attractive to both humans and pollinators alike. It is found growing in various types of dry, rocky habitats throughout the West, including open ridgelines, rocky bluffs and openings in coniferous forests in the Klamath-Siskiyou region of northwest California and southwest Oregon.
California fuchsia is a perennial wildflower that is semi deer resistant during the growing season, but it will die back to the ground in winter in areas with cold winter weather. It will flower best in full sun. In the wetter parts of its range it will not require any supplemental water once established, but in some hotter, drier areas it may need some occasional supplemental summer water to survive. California fuchsia is tolerant of a wide variety of soil types, including clay, sand and serpentine.
Cutting this species back to the ground when it is done flowering and going to seed can help stimulate healthy growth the following spring. It typically grows about .25 – 1.5′ tall and about 2-3′ wide. California fuchsia can spread by both rhizome and seed. It is often included on lists of fire resistant plants for fire safe landscaping — it makes a great groundcover.
California fuchsia flowers are built for hummingbird pollination. The flowers provide an important nectar source for many pollinator species, including hummingbirds during their southward migration, due to its late season bloom time when floral resources are otherwise scarce. Bees are nectar robbers on this species, chewing holes through the tube at the base and sipping the nectar without providing any pollination service to the plant. California fuchsia is a larval host plant for some moth species, including the white lined sphinx moth.
California fuchsia (Epilobium canum) seed packets contain approximately 120 seeds per packet.
Seed Germination Instructions
Sow outside in fall to early spring. Sow on soil surface or just barely cover the seeds with a dusting of sifted soil.