British Wildlife 16.1 October 2004

Letter from the far West Coast

"A stiff autumn gale leaves many of our coastal lanes strewn with blood-red and purple – the fallen flowers of Fuchsia magellanica Riccartonii. This hybrid, bred in Scotland around 1830, survives anything the Atlantic can throw at it, and its casual vigour is astounding. A maze of windbreak hedges on my hillside acre was grown from fuchsia twigs merely stuck in the ground, which is mostly how the shrub has travelled since the mid-19th century along hundreds of kilometres of roadside banks."

Merthyr Mawr National Nature Reserve Silent invasions – the natural history of chalk pits
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