The Fuchsia Spotlight. Campo Thilco

What’s flowering at The Fuchsietum? Fuchsia 'Campo Thilco'.

This hybrid is resistant to the ravages of the Brazilian fuchsia gall mite,
Auculops fuchsiae, as well as fuchsia rust (Pucciniastrum epilobii).

'Camp Thilco' came out of the program to develop mite-resistant fuchsias undertaken by Dr. Peter Baye while he was at the San Francisco Botanical Garden in the 1990s. 'Campo Thilco' is a cross between
Fuchsia campos-portoi x F. magellanica (AFS No. 3990, 1998).

Tested for three years against the gall mite both in San Francisco and Fort Bragg, Calif., the cross proved successful and was released in 1995. There are a number of other hybrids from Baye's efforts available.

The flowers on this single branch of
Fuchsia ‘Campo Thilco’ in the illustration at the bottom are all unusually sporting five portals instead of the standard four. I wonder how far it will go in maintaining this odd decandry.

I’m reminded of the exiled Chilean Jesuit and botanist, Juan Ignatio Molina (1740-1829), who established Thilcum tincturum (1810). The French botanist and Minim monk, Louis Feuillée (1680-1732) incorrectly reported from his travels that the thilco of Chile (Fuchsia magellanica) had five petals. The mistake was published in Feuillée's Journal des observations physiques, mathématiques, et botaniques (Paris, 1714).

It seems Molina had been away from his homeland for too long to correctly remember some of the fine details of its flora and relied on others in his own publications. Thilcum was later corrected to Fuchsia.