Against the Odds: Zauschneria californica

I saw this Zauschneria californica (aka Californian fuchsia or Hummingbird's trumpet) at Bodnant last month, which was working very hard to brighten up a very rainy autumnal day. Judging by the other plants in this wall, I think this specimen must have been self-sown. It's clearly thriving in its chosen home.

Despite hailing from the warmth of California, this is a pretty hardy plant (H4), which can be evergreen or deciduous depending on where it finds itself. I first encountered it leaning over the garden wall of the Methodist chapel in Chippenham a couple of years ago, and since then its been on my list of plants destined for the terraced beds.

I'm now kicking myself for not picking up the 2 plants I saw on sale in Bodnant's plant centre. The garden has its own propagation unit and the staff there are producing lots of healthy plants at very reasonable prices. I'll just have to go back when I visit Karen again :)


  1. I love your "Against the Odds" series. It's always lovely to see plants growing out of stone and concrete. I had a lovely plant growing in my gateway, not sure what it was. Then the council came past and sprayed herbicide on everything within sight. Sigh. They do love their weedkillers and their leaf blowers.

  2. So beautiful! Lovely color against the gray stone.
    Have a wonderful day!

  3. That looks really happy in its chosen spot, hope you manage to find a plant for yourself soon.

  4. And no hummingbirds to enjoy bees love it? It is beautiful to be sure!

  5. Oh that looks most attractive VP- now why didn't you treat yourself at the time? Says she having missed similar opportune moments :)

  6. So when are you coming back then? If I go that way, do you want me to pop in and see if they still have any?

  7. Excellent excuse for a return visit! I hate it when I talk myself out of buying something only to immediately regret it when I am too far away to rectify the situaiton. It does look rather wonderful there, defying gravity and the aesthetic of tidy little mounding plants more commonly seen.

  8. Thanks for all your comments :)

    Bren - I wish we had humming birds over here

    Anna - because I wasn't sure when I'd get round to planting it. I have an enormous cotoneaster to shift first...

    Dobby - that's very kind. I'll be back next year and it's the perfect excuse to go again :)


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