Fuchsias – Lady Boothby and Fuchsia Jam

by David Murray

With the arrival of Spring I've noticed a resurgence of visitors to my (now) small fuchsias site. (I say “now small” because I've pruned back it viciously ready for a rebuild which is now starting). Interestingly one of the most popular pages is the one on Fuchsia 'Lady Boothby', often called the “climbing” fuchsia – which in my opinion is not technically correct but it does grow vigorously and long and can be trained against a trellis or some other support.

Then this evening I came across an item on Emma Cooper's blog about her newly arrived fuchsia plants in which she refers to 'Lady Boothby' as one of the varieties that might well make good fuchsia jam. Now even after growing fuchias for well over twenty years I've never before heard of fuchsia jam. It sounds interesting. I wonder what it tastes like. Emma says:

“I have always loved fuchsias, but my interest these days is more in the fact that they grow edible berries. Although they are edible, some are apparently nicer (and larger) than others, depending on the species and the variety….”
More at New Plants: Hardy Fuchsias – Blog – Emma Cooper

I'm going to check this out during the coming season, and see whether I can grow enough to make jam production a feasible proposition. For starters in my research I've found two recipes on the Powells Wood Garden blog, with a few more tips about preferred varieties

“Single-bloom fuchsias produce more fruit than double-bloom fuchsias. Fuchsia berries can taste very peppery to very sweet, almost like a kiwi. The berries of Fuchsia procumbens, the groundcover fuchsia, are my personal favorite; they get very large and are very sweet….”
More at Fuchsias 101 – How to Eat Fuchsia Berries « PowellsWood Garden

So here we go, not only growing the wonderful flowers but maybe some late summer afternoon enjoying their jam. Clotted cream and fuchsia jam on fresh scones … ?

Buy Fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’

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