September 14, 2010

Cape Fuchsia's Never Stop

Two varieties of Phygelius capensis in my African border.

 Phygelius capensis, or Cape Fuchsia ( not really a Fuchsia), provides long lasting color in warmer gardens, but even if you live in the north, they make great temporary additions to container plantings, or in borders. Next year I will grow more ( especially the yellow and white forms), but I know that I should order early, since most of the nicer varieties sold out by February. Take cuttings now, for plants that you can winter over indoors or under glass.

I first saw these sold as greenhouse plants, and then saw some in containers at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden outside of Boston. When grown in full sun, they provide a tropical look with their long, tubular blossoms which come in many shades of pink and purple, and a very nice yellow. Like many tropical summer bedding plants, Phygelius really shine in late summer, as the summer heat warms the soil, and when the Dahlia and Canna peak. Their warm, fruity colors should blend well with other temporary tropicals.
 I ordered plants in the spring from Big Dipper Farm, and they arrived in a few weeks. I potted the large tubes of plants into 12 inch clay pots. I pinched them back, since I could tell that they would grow quickly. By July, they containers we're in full bloom, and they haven't stopped all summer.

A Google screen capture shows many of the colors available. Google away, my friends, and discover this under-used genus.


  1. I love Phygelius. When I was 21, my garden was on tour, and my Phygelius 'Moonraker' was the true show-stopper. MANY asked what it was, and I could tell from next year's tour that it really spurred interest in the Phygelius genus. I also grow a pink one (can't remember the name).

  2. What a beautiful plant. I haven't tried those. I will definitely have to give them a go.


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