Onagraceae (evening primrose) family
Where is it originally from?
Bolivia and South Peru, South America
What does it look like?
Erect, evergreen shrub (2-5 m tall) with long, thin, densely hairy stems with leaves at the ends, and green shoots. Grey-green, oblong (up to 20 x 9 cm) leaves grow in pairs on reddish pink leaf stems (up to 8 cm), have with flattened hairs, and faintly toothed edges. Trumpet-like flowers with crimson petals (1.2-1.5 cm long) and stamens, and hairy pink or crimson flower tubes (5-6 cm long) and outer petals (1.5-2.2 cm x 0.4 cm) are produced all year round in hanging clusters at the end of stems, and are followed by cylindrical dark purple berries (2 cm long). Flowers may be white in cultivation.
Are there any similar species?
Fuchsia fulgens and F. triphylla have shorter floral tubes and outer petals. F. fulgens has orange-red floral tubes with green-tipped outer petals, and F. triphylla has leaves that are purple below and sometimes above, and orange-scarlet flowers.
Why is it weedy?
Forms dense thickets up to 2m tall and is shade-tolerant.
How does it spread?
Birds spread the seeds long distances.
What damage does it do?
Shades out smaller plants and seedlings, preventing native plants establishing.
Which habitats is it likely to invade?
Forests and their margins, scrub, riparian areas and open wasteland.
What can I do to get rid of it?
Remove all seedlings and mulch. Dig out larger plants.