Fuschia excorticata with vivid blue pollen
Dense positioning of pollen for a bird beak
Finished flowering – has some ethnobotanical qualities such as jam used by the locals

Fuschia excorticata or Kotukutuku in Māori is a large growing shrub from New Zealand. The specimen is located at the top of the stairs near the monkey puzzles. Fuschia was originally discovered in the 1690’s and was named after the German botanist Karl Fuchs. Therefore, the correct pronunciation as I found out in Germany is fook-see-a instead of fyu-sha. An issue as I continue to anglicize my Latin much to the dismay of my better spoken counterparts.

Fuschia are mostly from Central to South America however, a small disjunct population of three species made it to New Zealand. Fuschia excorticata a large growing shrub to around 15 metres, Fuschia perscandens typically a rambling climber but habit can alter in position and Fuschia procumbens a low growing shrub found in the costal areas of the northern island.

Blue pollen is an unusual phenomenon in the plant kingdom. The three species of Fuschia in New Zealand share this characteristic. I believe the blue pollen is coevolution between one of the endemic pollinators similar to orchids with orchid bees and Nesocodon with red pollen to attract endemic geckos ( more information here – https://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/25796 )

Based on literature it is endemic birds which is similar to the hummingbird pollinators in Central and South America. I believe some of the 40 endemic species of bees may also contribute to this in the case of the lower growing Fuschia procumbens.