Fuchsia ‘Empress of Prussia’

‘Empress of Prussia’ is to my mind one of the most sensational of fuchsia varieties. It produces an abundance of sturdy, quite large, single flowers with scarlet tube and sepals, and a magenta corolla that is almost red.

The bush grows strongly and branches well, carrying leaves of a dark green. The Empress is reliably hardy and can be planted permanently outside. In my experience it is not the earliest to recover and flower in the Spring but is more than worth a short wait, growing to around three feet in height in good conditions in the North of England, probably more further south.

Indoors, however, it can be spectacular. I was introduced to this cultivar in the glass houses of the walled garden at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire (England), the former home of the Duke of Newcastle now owned by the National Trust. In a large container there is a wonderful specimen which from memory must have been around six feet high and covered in glorious red flowers during the summer months. Surrounded by younger plants in smaller pots it gives a staggering display of the majesty of the fuchsia.

Bartlett, in his ‘Colour Guide’ appears to share my enthusiasm as he says, “Cannot be recommended too highly”.