Native Plant of the Month: Zauschneria/Epilobium (California Fuchsia)

With the month almost over, I've decided it's time for a plant of the month. And the main thing still blooming is the California Fuchsia, beloved by humming birds, finches, towees, and me.
I have three different California Fuchsias in my garden:
  • Epilobium canum canum Salmon Pink is a mid-sized (3-4 ft) fuchsia that blooms August - November in a salmon color. Greenish leaves.
  • A second Epilobium canum canum is rather tall (4-6 ft), has grayish leaves, likes to reseed, and blooms read September - December. Don't exactly know what variety, got it from a friend.
  • Epilobium septentrionalis 'Select Matolle' is a low-growing variety that forms compact mounds and blooms in red July-November.
When friends ask me which natives to try, I usually suggest California Fuchsia and California Poppies. They both grow like weeds for me, don't need extra water, and look pretty much of a year.
Gardening books recommend California Fuchsia for the informal garden, and I must agree. Especially the large one tends to flop over, and then I don't want to cut it and starve the hummers. Select Matolle, on the other hand, could probably hold its own in a more formal setting.
All California Fuchsias like sun though they tolerate part shade. They also can be pruned down to 1 inch when they're done blooming and will come back the next year.


What a great plant. I have quite a few scattered about the yard and look forward to late summer when they erupt with red blooms. I also have white and pink forms which don't seem to be as vigorous as the reds. My favorite cultivar would be 'Calistoga'. It's of medium height with grey-soft leaves and is a prolific bloomer.