California Fuchsia Epilobium canum (Z)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
California fuchsia


The plant commonly referred to as California fuchsia is adorned with vivid, tubular flowers that possess a fiery hue, reminiscent of an intense sunset. These scarlet blossoms contrast against the fine, lance-shaped foliage, which is often a greyish-green, lending a soft backdrop to the striking blooms. The leaves are known to be hairy, adding a textured quality to the plant's overall appearance. This perennial is a favorite of hummingbirds, who are attracted to the nectar-rich flowers that appear in profusion. Despite being a magnet for wildlife, the California fuchsia maintains a neat demeanor, providing a spectacular show of color in gardens without the need for excessive care. As the seasons change, the plant may also exhibit a transformation in coloration, with flowers taking on a more subdued tone, but the foliage typically remains steadfast in its subtle verdancy.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      California Fuchsia, Hummingbird Flower, Zauschneria, Firechaser

    • Common names

      Zauschneria californica, Zauschneria cana, Epilobium canum subsp. latifolium, Zauschneria latifolia.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      California fuchsia is generally not considered toxic to humans. There are no well-documented cases of poisoning from ingestion of this plant, and it is not known to contain harmful substances that could lead to significant health consequences. However, as with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities could possibly cause mild irritation or discomfort if ingested.

    • To pets

      California fuchsia is not commonly known to be toxic to pets. It does not appear on lists of poisonous plants for animals like dogs and cats, and there are no widely recognized symptoms of poisoning associated with it. However, pets can sometimes have reactions to plants that are not considered toxic, so it is always best to prevent pets from ingesting plants, in general, to avoid any potential issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2-4 feet (60-120 cm)

    • Spread

      2-4 feet (60-120 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Epilobium canum, commonly known as California fuchsia, is known for its bright, tubular flowers which attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, helping to pollinate the garden.
    • Drought Tolerant: As a native of arid regions, California fuchsia is highly drought-tolerant, making it an excellent choice for water-wise gardens and xeriscaping.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care, making it a convenient plant for gardeners with limited time or those seeking low-maintenance landscapes.
    • Ground Cover: Its spreading habit allows it to cover bare spots in the garden, reducing soil erosion and preventing weed growth.
    • Colorful Blooms: The plant provides vibrant red to orange flowers that add a splash of color to the landscape, often blooming from summer through fall.
    • Wildlife Habitat: It offers shelter and nesting sites for various species of wildlife, contributing to the biodiversity of the garden ecosystem.
    • Erosion Control: Its root systems help stabilize slopes and disturbed soil areas, preventing erosion and loss of topsoil.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Epilobium canum has been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce swelling and irritation.
    • Antiseptic: The plant may possess antiseptic qualities that help prevent the growth of microorganisms.
    • Astringent: It may contain astringent properties, which can help tighten tissues and reduce secretions.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Epilobium canum, commonly known as California fuchsia, can be used to create a natural dye for textiles, imparting a range of colors from greens to yellows depending on the mordant used.
    • The fuzzy foliage of California fuchsia can be included in a sensory garden, providing a tactile experience and visual interest with its gray to green leaves.
    • Nectar from California fuchsia's flowers is a food source for hummingbirds, making it an excellent choice for wildlife gardens aimed at attracting and supporting these birds.
    • Dried leaves and flowers of California fuchsia can be incorporated into potpourri for their texture and subtle natural fragrance, adding a wild, rustic touch to the mix.
    • California fuchsia can serve as a natural pest deterrent in gardens; it is resistant to deer, which can help protect more vulnerable plants nearby.
    • The robust nature of California fuchsia allows it to be used in erosion control, as its root systems help stabilize soil on slopes and banks.
    • As a fire-resistant plant, California fuchsia can be planted in fire-scaping designs to create defensible space around properties prone to wildfires.
    • California fuchsia's vibrant flowers can be used in floral arrangements, adding a splash of color and uniqueness to bouquets and centerpieces.
    • The plant's ability to thrive in poor soils makes it suitable for restoration projects, helping to re-establish vegetation in areas with degraded soil quality.
    • California fuchsia can act as a ground cover, providing a low-maintenance solution for covering large sunny areas with a carpet of foliage and flowers.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The California Fuchsia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The California Fuchsia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: The California fuchsia, as Epilobium canum is commonly known, thrives in challenging environments, often reflecting the idea of enduring and overcoming difficulties.
    • Vibrancy: Its bright red or orange flowers symbolize energy and vibrancy, often inspiring a sense of boldness and liveliness.
    • Attractiveness: Since California fuchsia is known for attracting hummingbirds, it can symbolize allure and the capacity to draw in what one desires.
    • Adaptability: Given its ability to adapt to various soil types and drought conditions, it can represent flexibility and the ability to flourish under diverse circumstances.
    • Natural Beauty: The plant's natural elegance and effortless charm are often associated with a simple yet striking beauty.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The California fuchsia should be watered deeply but infrequently to mimic its native habitat's conditions. Generally, this means watering it once every 1 to 2 weeks, depending on climate conditions, with more frequent watering in extremely hot or dry weather. Each watering session should provide enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of at least an inch, which might equate to about one to two gallons for a mature plant, depending on soil type and container size. It's important to allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.

  • sunLight

    California fuchsia thrives in full sun, which means it needs at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. The best spot for this plant would be in an area where it receives unfiltered, direct sunlight throughout most of the day. Adequate exposure to sunlight is crucial for prolific blooming and optimal growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    California fuchsia prefers temperate conditions and can generally handle temperatures ranging from 20°F to 90°F without significant damage. However, the ideal temperature for robust growth and flowering lies between 60°F and 75°F. For this reason, it's best planted in areas where nighttime temperatures rarely drop below freezing.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune California fuchsia in late winter or early spring to encourage bushier growth and more blooms. Pruning involves cutting back the previous year's growth by about one-half to maintain a compact form and remove any dead or damaged stems. Deadheading, or the removal of spent flowers, can be done throughout the blooming season to promote continuous flowering.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    California Fuchsia prefers well-draining soil with a mix of sand, loam, or native soil; it tolerates poor soils. The soil pH should ideally be between 6.0 and 8.0.

  • plantRepotting

    California Fuchsia does not need frequent repotting; repot every 2-3 years, or when it appears root-bound.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    California Fuchsia thrives in average humidity levels and does not require any special humidity considerations.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, minimal water, well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to part shade, drought tolerant, well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Epilobium canum, commonly known as California Fuchsia, begins its life cycle as seeds, which upon germination in late winter to early spring, develop into small seedlings. These seedlings quickly grow into mature plants with woody-based stems and lance-shaped leaves, during which they undergo a vegetative stage with rapid foliage growth. In late summer to fall, the mature plants bloom, producing vibrant red to orange tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. After pollination, the flowers develop into elongated seed capsules that eventually release their seeds, completing the reproductive stage. In regions with milder climates, California Fuchsia may exhibit evergreen characteristics, while in colder zones it dies back to the ground after frost. Finally, the plant enters a dormant stage during the winter, conserving its energy until the next growing season begins.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Epilobium canum, commonly known as California fuchsia, is through softwood cuttings. To carry out this process, cuttings should be taken in late spring or early summer when new growth is soft and flexible. Cut a 4 to 6-inch (about 10 to 15 cm) length from the tip of a healthy stem, making sure it has several leaves. Remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting and dip the cut end into a rooting hormone powder for better root development. Then, insert the cutting into a moist potting mix, ensuring that at least two nodes are below the surface. Place the pot in indirect light and keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Roots typically develop within a few weeks, after which the new plants can be transplanted into individual containers or directly into the garden.