Is it Fuschia or Fuchsia?

Fuchsia PlantsSo which plant is it? If you look up the first instance, with the s before the ch, Webster will tell you that it is definitely wrong. In fact, as I write this, Word has underlined F-U-S-C-H-I-A in the red wavy line that tells me it is incorrect, while the spelling F-U-C-H-S-I-A, has not been marked for correction.

That should be all the proof you need, and yet there is a battle constantly waged over this issue across back yard fences and in local gardening circles around the world! There is, however, no confusion (okay, just a little) over its pronunciation. The most common pronunciation is FEW-she-uh, while some of us tend to run it all together, saying FEW-sha, and still others pronounce it FEWK-see-uh. We, by the way, have got the run-together version and a new one, FOOKS-ee-uh, listed in our description, derived from some botany pronunciation guide or other. I'm afraid the original pronunciation has been lost to time. And the truth is, that regardless of how you spell itFuchsia Plant or Fuschia Plant, everyone is going to know what you are talking about anyway!

We are here, though, to set the record straight, at least insofar as the proper spelling goes. The proper spelling is with the ‘CH' before the ‘S'. The reason for this is that the Fuchsia plant was named after Leonhart (or Leonhard) Fuchs who was one of the founding fathers of botany (and I can find no phonetic pronunciation for his name). A very well-known German physician, at least in the 16th century, he created the first medicinal garden at the University of Tubingen in 1535. The Fuchsia, which bears his name, was discovered on Santo Domingo in the Caribbean in 1696 or 1697(record-keeping at that time left much to be desired) by French scientist Dom Charles Plumier. Okay, this is probably where the original confusion starteda French scientist named a tropical plant after a German botanist.

So, there you have it! Webster describes the fuchsia as any of a genus (Fuchsia) of ornamental shrubs of the evening-primrose family having showy nodding flowers usually in deep pinks, reds, and purples. Most of us though, just call them beautiful! Maybe we should just take a clue from Shakespeare and know that a fuchsia by any other name, would smell just as sweet and just enjoy the flower, not worrying about whether it's spelled it Fuchsia or Fuschia.

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Spelling fuschia | Marybuyshouses
    September 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    […] Is it Fuschia or Fuchsia? | Garden Harvest SupplyJun 13, 2011 … In fact, as I write this, Word has underlined F-U-S-C-H-I-A in the red wavy line that tells me it is incorrect, while the spelling F-U-C-H-S-I-A, has … […]

    • Reply
      jstutzman
      September 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      It is used both ways. Our spelling is correct for plants.

  • Reply
    Living German
    December 31, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    This may be a very late reply, but … “I'm afraid the original pronunciation has been lost to time.”

    Er, nope? This may amaze you, but there are people in the world who still speak German. Fuchs is the German word for “Fox” as well as a still-existing last name and we happen to know very well how to pronounce it. We also know how Latin is generally pronounced.

    FOO-ksee-uh is pretty close, but mind that the double “O” means stress here, not length.

  • Reply
    FUCHSIA FRENZY! | Garden Harvest Supply
    February 17, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    […] Hardier and easier to grow than you may think, Fuchsia Plants are actually a small woody shrub that produces colorful, tropical, delicate-looking blossoms in a myriad of colors. Sometimes called Lady's Eardrops, the botanical name, Fuchsia (FEW-sha), is most often usedthough it is often misspelled, has various pronunciations and has been the subject of numerous over-the-fence discussions, as evidenced here. […]

  • Reply
    Mike Lacoste
    April 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    It’s a beautiful plant no matter how you pronounce and spell it. I think it’s FEW-SHA. I can’t argue with Webster. They are usually right. If it’s taken care of properly, when people see it, all they’ll say is WOW! A beautiful, magnificent plant.

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