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Attracting Hummingbird Tips

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Fuchsia 'Old Berkeley'

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(Old Berkeley Fuchsia) White sepals mottled with rosy pink and tipped in green seem to float over the deep rose petals of Fuchsia ‘Old Berkeley’. They hang from mid-green, veined foliage with toothed edges. Hummingbirds love this mid-height shrub.

Common name
This is the non-scientific name used for a plant. A plant may have several common names, depending on the gardener's location. To further confuse the matter, a common name may be shared by several completely different plants. At Flowers by the Sea, we rely on the scientific name to identify our plants and avoid confusion.
Old Berkeley Fuchsia
USDA Zones
The U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones indicate the temperature zones where a plant is likely to thrive. It is determined by the average annual winter minimum temperature. Actual winter temperatures may be higher or lower than the average.
9 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)
The anticipated mature size of the plant: Height, Width & Flower Height.
This is the average amount of sunlight that a plant needs to thrive. Generally, full sun exposure is 6 or more hours of direct sun daily while partial shade is less than 4 hours of sun or dappled shade all day. Plants may tolerate more sunlight in cooler climates and need afternoon shade in extremely hot climates.
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type
This is the kind of soil that a plant needs to thrive. Most plants require a well-drained soil that allows the water to soak into the soil without becoming soggy. Sandy and clay soils can be improved by digging in compost to improve drainage.
Rich and well drained
Water needs
Plants have specific water requirements. Water loving means the plant needs regular watering to keep the soil moist. Average generally indicates applying 1 inch of water per week, or watering when the soil is dry to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. One inch of water is equal to 5 gallons per square yard of soil surface.
Container plant?
"Yes" indicates that this plant can be successfully grown as a container plant.
Hummingbird plant?
Hummingbirds have been observed regularly feeding from this plant's flowers.
Mature height
The mature height of this plant in average conditions.
4 to 5 feet
Mature spread
The mature width of this plant in average conditions.
5 to 6 feet
High Resolution Images
  • Fuchsia 'Old Berkeley'
Degree of Difficulty
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.
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Ratings & Reviews

(Old Berkeley Fuchsia) White sepals mottled with rosy pink and tipped in green seem to float over the deep rose petals of Fuchsia ‘Old Berkeley’. They hang from mid-green, veined foliage with toothed edges.

Hummingbirds love Old Berkeley, a mid-height, wide-spreading shrub. It thrives in partial shade but also grows well in full sun in coastal locations with moderate winters. Similar to all Fuchsias, it requires moist but not soggy soil and regular fertilizing. Old Berkeley is a great choice for hedges, but also grows well as an accent plant in a container.

One way that Fuchsias are categorized is by number of petals. Old Berkeley is a single, which means its flowers have 4 petals. In contrast, the famous yet elusive 1955 Fuchsia ‘Berkeley’ that was hybridized by Victor Reiter and his son, Victor Reiter, Jr., is a double. Double Fuchsias have 8 or more petals whereas semi-doubles have 5, 6, or 7. Except for the difference in petal numbers, the flowers of Berkeley and Old Berkeley appear much the same based on Fuchsia ‘Berkeley’ photos we’ve seen online.

Berkeley was the heart of international “Fuchsiamania” in the 1950s. The city’s role in popularization of the genus was due in part to gardeners forming The American Fuchsia Society there in 1929. A July 2006 article in Pacific Horticulture notes that in 1930 a delegation from the Society traveled to Europe — the early center of Fuchsia hybridization — to collect varieties to bring home. They divided the collection between Berkeley Horticultural Nursery and Berkeley’s University of California Botanical Garden.

Three decades later, a pesky South American mite destroyed many Fuchsias in California gardens. Horticulturists began the lengthy process of finding and hybridizing mite-resistant plants and are now succeeding in helping Fuchsias to abound again.

Fuchsia ‘Old Berkeley’ is what the International Code of Nomenclature refers to as a “designated” botanical name rather than a formally published or “accepted” name validated by ICN rules. One of the unknown facts about this plant is whether it possesses another long-lost accepted name. An important fact we do know is that Old Berkeley is a survivor of the mite wars, a resilient beauty that any Fuchsia lover would be proud to own.