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The golden fuchsia is a very rare and impressive plant from the cool mountain forests of southern Mexico. The species is not related to the well-known Fuchsias, but is found in the same family as for instance the coffee plant (Rubiacaea). The species was discovered in 1973 by the American botanist Dennis Breedlove, in the state Chiapas. The species has never been found in nature in any other location ever since. The original population of the golden fuchsia turned out to have disappeared in 1986, as the area was cleared for farmland. Luckily, Breedlove had brought back seeds, and therefore the species hasn’t gone extinct. Currently, the species can be found in a few botanical gardens and private collections of gatherers, and its survival is therefore safeguarded. All plants that are currently in existence can be led back to Breedlove’s seeds, resulting in little genetic variation.
The plant can be grown as an indoor or container plant, and is sensitive to temperature fluctuations. During the day, a temperature between 15 and 25 degC is recommended, and preferably a bit colder during the night. Otherwise the plant is quite easy to grow, and starts to produce beautiful flowers after a few years. The yellow flowers have an orange tip, and purplish red sepals. They hang from long stems and bloom abundantly with many flowers at the same time. Well-drained soil and a stand without bright sun in the afternoon are recommended.
Sow the small seeds superficially in sowing mix, and cover the soil with plastic foil or glass. Keep the soil constantly moist and let the seeds germinate at 20-23 degC in a bright spot without direct sunlight.
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