A Chilean Visitor

f. magellanica "chilco"
f. magellanica " chilco

In September 2000, I received a photo image E-mail, with no text at all, from a visitor to our site.

I am always intrigued by these type of email, curiosity gets me, to find out where these come from. A little delving into the properties of an Email can give lots of details, suffice to say that I found out the email address of the person that sent the image.

The photo was of f. magellanica "chilco", more evidence that the email had come from Chile.

The next thought that I had was, perhaps this person that sent this email might not be able to speak or write English, then a flash of an idea, why not contact our Spanish member Julio Guri, he could be an in-between or translator. So I emailed Julio, telling him of my dilemma, asking him to put some Spanish text together to thank the person for sending the photo.

So armed with this, I wrote to this person, giving Julio's address as "translator in chief" for our society for replies. In no time all, I had a reply, in English, from Chile. Success, the person was Juan Pablo, a nurseryman in Chile, not specialising growing fuchsias but growing Lapageria Rosea or Copihue.

Click the photo for more details on Lapageria Rosea Click Here, for more details
Lapageria Rosea

What, you might say is that, it's the Chilean Bellflower, the national flower of Chile.
Juan also grows " f. magellanica alba " in his garden, although in Chile, not many are grown in gardens, as they grow profusely in the wild, colder rain forests.

Quite a fountain of knowledge our Julio, he told me that "Chilco" is the local, popular name for any wild fuchsias found in Chile. The name "Chilco" comes from the name given to these plants by the original inhabitants, before the Spanish arrived.
In Spain, the popular name for fuchsias is "Queen's earrings", ( Pendientes de la reine ) . Pendientes = pendants, which could be used in English, instead of " earring ". Apparently, in Mexico, the popular name of fuchsias is " aretes " , the word for earrings, from " aro " meaning ring or pendant.


f. magellanica

Juan Pablo, in Chile, writes that

" The fuchsia magellanica is known in our country as " Chilco ", " Fuxia ", " Palo Blanco " ( White Stick ) and " Jazmin del Papa " ( Jasmine of the Pope ).  It grows in the humid, narrow canyons , flourishes from August until April. In the south area of Chile, I found a variety with the rosy sepals and the red corolla, very beautiful.
Another species called fuchsia lycioides exists, and this species grows beside the sea and in the coastal hills of the place where I live. It is also known as "Palo Falso " ( False Stick ), " Y Palo de Yegua " ( Stick of Mare ).
Formerly, the hybrid fuchsia was known in Chile with the name of " Amores Colgando ", ( Love's Hanging ), " Bailarina " ( Dancer ) and " Y Aros de la Reina " ( Pendants of the Queen ).
" Chilco " is a word of mapuche ( araucano ) origin. At this time, I don't know what it means but I will discover it. " Mapuches " are the town native of Chile, before the Spanish conquerors arrived in America .
The flower of the fuchsia magellanica, is used in my country, to prepare an infusion that alleviates the nuisances of people suffering renal infections. "

As you can see in this article, from a chance email, our knowledge about our beloved fuchsia is enhanced with these little snippets of information.

My grateful thanks to both Julio and Juan, for their contributions to this article.

G.F, Sept 2000

Click the thumbnails for the full photos of more Lapageria ( Copihue )

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