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Phygelius rectus/Cape Fuchsia--Has anyone tried this?

Posted by kristin_williams Z6 SW PA (My Page) on
Mon, May 15, 06 at 13:40

I saw some of these plants at our local Home Depot, went straight to their gardening books section, and couldn't find a bit of information on them. They look like they might be good hummer flowers.

From what I've since read on the internet, I think they're somewhat tender perennials that probably wouldn't last through a typical zone 6 winter. However, I did see them listed as hummingbird plants on at least one site, so they might be worth a try. Although they're called Cape Fuchsias, it would seem that they're in the same family as Foxgloves--Scrophulariaceae. They're apparently from South Africa, like most flowers that say Cape "---." The variety I saw has pale yellow flowers, and, if I remember correctly, the variety is called "Moonraker."

Has anyone out there grown these obscure plants? Did the hummingbirds like them?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Phygelius rectus/Cape Fuchsia--Has anyone tried this?

I don't know about all of the Phygelius hybrids but i do know that the hummers use some of them. Our local nursery has one this year called Purple Prince and I have been debating about buying it. I really don't have room for any more plants. I just bought a new Abutilon and have cuttings of 3 more that i am trying to root.


RE: Phygelius rectus/Cape Fuchsia--Has anyone tried this?

I have Moonraker, and it indeed rakes the moon here in zone 8. Will rapidly grow to 15 ft or more without pruning. Tolerates significant pruning. Essentially evergreen. Long bloom time. Suckers like crazy. Drought tolerant no matter what the nursery said ( they said 4-6 feet and requires adequate moisture). Produces so much nectar that it drips out all over the plant. Hummingbirds come to it (Anna's) but it was not their first choice at the beginning, but I think they have discovered it after several years. I have tried some of the other cultivars, and haven't liked them as well for form or performance. One of the red ones, I can't remember which one, took it very hard when temps dropped to 25 degrees. Moonraker didn't bat an eye.

RE: Phygelius rectus/Cape Fuchsia--Has anyone tried this?

Wow! I thought I'd have to wait days to hear from anyone who has grown this. Fifteen feet tall, you say? Again, wow. From what I could read, "Moonraker" might tolerate temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit, but it often goes below zero around here, and I can remember one winter that got to -23 degrees F. I don't think Moonraker would be too happy with that. On the other hand, in a normal winter, close to the house, and with lots of mulch, it might make it. I do have some room for it, but am going to have to think about whether I want it in my garden. It's probably not ideal, from a cultural standpoint, but it does look interesting.

Thanks for the info from both of you! Has anyone in zone 6 managed to get it through a winter?

RE: Phygelius rectus/Cape Fuchsia--Has anyone tried this?

I've grown this for a few seasons in zone 6b. During the winter it dies back to nothing, then in mid spring starts sending up green shoots. By late summer it is a full lush clump maybe 2 feet by 2 feet. Since July it has been loaded with beautiful trumpet blooms. The hummingbirds love it and visit it often. Mine is on the northside of a building and well mulched in the winter.

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