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Epilobium canum
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California Fuchsia
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Epilobium canum
  

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About California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum) Epilobium canum is beautiful species of willowherb, native to the California foothills and coastal areas. It is a perennial plant, notable for the profusion of bright scarlet flowers in summer and autumn - it's usually the only native California plant in an area flowering at the height of summer. They tend to die back and go dormant in the winter. Other common names include California-fuchsia (from the resemblance of the flowers to those of Fuchsias), Hummingbird Flower, and Hummingbird Trumpet (the flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds). Epilobium canum is often found by seasonal creeks, seeps and spring, particularly in the drier southern part of it's range.

California Fuchsia is easy to grow. It does best and will flower most profusely in full sun. In the wetter, northern part of it's range or near the coast, this plant will typically require no supplemental water after established. In the drier, hotter, inland southern areas, it will often die without summer water unless planted close to an irrigated or other wet area. You can water it 1x/month without much danger. Plants tend to get straggly after flowering by late fall or early winter. Best to cut them back to the ground as soon as the flowers are spent, and they'll come back back lush and healthy in the spring. Otherwise, they'll look straggly and unhealthy the next year, and are more likely to die. This plant will readily self-seed, so once you get this species established, it will usually start springing up around your garden. It also spreads by rhizomes. There's probably no better California native plant for attracting hummingbirds.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.25 - 1.5 ft (0.08 - 0.46 m)

Max. Width
2-3 ft (0.6 m)

Form
Spreading

Fragrance
None

Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Winter Semi-Deciduous

Leaves
The leaves are small, opposite or alternate, lance-shaped or ovate and with short to nonexistent stalks. They range in color from green to nearly white.

Flower Color
Red

Flowering Season
Summer, Fall
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter


Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Site Type
This species is found in a number of natural settings over a large part of the state. Near the coast it is found on slopes, bluffs or canyons as part of chaparral or coastal sage scrub. In more inland areas including the Sierras it is found in slightly damper slopes and flats, often near seasonal creeks, often as part of pine or fir forest.

Sun
Sun

Elevation ?
-714' - 12228'

Annual Precip. ?
2.7" - 124.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 4.46"

Coldest Month ?
19.7° F - 59.6° F

Hottest Month ?
41.1° F - 88.1° F

Humidity ?
0.28 vpd - 40.93 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates clay and sand

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Soil Toxicity Tolerance
Tolerates Serpentine Soil

Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low, Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Low
Moderate - High


Popularity
Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
1x/month
No Summer Water
1x/month
2x/month
3x/month
1/week
Keep moist


Pruning
Cut or mow to base in fall or early winter to stimulate for new growth. Unwanted rhizomes can be pulled at any time.

Propagation ?
Self-seeds readily. Rhizomes can be transplanted in winter or spring.

Common uses
Groundcovers, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Zauschneria californica|Zauschneria canum

Common Names
Hummingbird Trumpet


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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