Misverstandeb over GB

Misunderstandings about triphylla cultivars

   1. The origin of the use of the type designation "tri" in Fuchsia triphylla cultivars

At the end of the eighties of the last century, in a meeting of the Computer Determination Group in Bilthoven at the home of the now deceased Mr. and Mrs. Rijkoort, it was decided to publish the data collected about fuchsia cultivars in a handy reference book.

The title chosen was “Cultivar Inventory List”, this list made an inventory of all fuchsia cultivars that were available in the Netherlands at the time and were in circulation among Dutch enthusiasts.

This publication was the first reference work in Europe in which concise and relevant data of the relevant cultivars could be consulted by cultivar name.

During the consultation about which data could and could not be published and thus consulted, it was proposed to also include the designation "tri" for what were called triphyllas at the time.

This name was very common at the time and a concept in the fuchsia world. This meant cultivars of which one of the parents or ancestors was Fuchsia triphylla.

Also in the catalogs of European growers, these plants were often provided with the type designation "tri" or mentioned in a separate section in the catalog under the title triphyllas.

It is well known that many mistakes were made in this process.

During the consultations about whether or not to include the designation "tri" in the Cultivar inventory list, this was strongly protested by what is now the doyen of the Dutch breeders, Mr. Herman de Graaff, who was also part of the

Computer determination group of the N.K.v.F. He argued that this was a completely wrong designation for those plants.

The word and concept triphyllas that suggested the abbreviation "tri" did not exist according to him. According to him, triphyllas would indicate that there were several species of the species Fuchsia triphylla.

Of course he was right at the time, but he could not have imagined that several decades later several variations of Fuchsia triphylla would indeed be in circulation.

To meet the wishes of many enthusiasts of this type of fuchsias, it was nevertheless decided to maintain this designation in the publications of the N.K.v.F. Contemporary insights and the availability of more data are changing this.

'Frederick Woodward'


   2. Bringing clarity to the confusing Fuchsia triphylla typifications

In the Dutch circle of Fuchsiavrienden, despite the large number of members, only three people have been busy to provide some clarity in the maze of typifications for cultivars that have Fuchsia triphylla blood in their genes.

Dr. ing. Peter Rijkoort made the first attempt to do so in 1996.

In the Fuchsiana of that year he published a list of cultivars, in which the printed version of the "Cultivar Inventory List" added the entry "tri" as a type designation for cultivars descended from Fuchsia triphylla.

In that article he asked readers to report any missing names to him and he also asked whether the list contained any names that did not belong. Despite the fact that there were quite a lot of collectors' collections in the Netherlands at that timeFuchsia triphylla cultivars did not respond to the article.

'Anita de Keijzer' with a flower of the triphylla type (Fuchsia vulcanica x Fuchsia campii)

Peter, who was a statistician by profession, was mainly annoyed by the ambiguities surrounding these cultivars that he was confronted with in the computer identification system he developed and what he used for the possible determination of fuchsia cultivars by computer.

Also when compiling the Cultivar Inventory List, which originated from the computer identification system of which he edited, he believed that such designations should be justified and correct. The cultural aspects that made the type designation necessary were not the main thing for him.

  'Fulpila'  with a flower from the triphylla type ( Fuchsia fulgens x Fuchsia pilaloensis )

When he did not receive the expected cooperation after publishing that article, he decided to create some clarity himself in order to arrive at reliable information.

He started by compiling a list of cultivar names that were mentioned as triphylla or triphylla-like in the many data forms used for the computer identification system.

In addition, he obtained information from the “Loose-leaf Cultivar Inventarislijst” published by the Dutch circle of Fuchsiavrienden and from “The Checklist of Species, hybrids and cultivars” by Leo Boullemier.

He also obtained the necessary information from growers' catalogues. (Goulding, Bacon and Itches.)

He supplemented all the cultivar names he collected with the dates of introduction, breeder names, country of origin and colors of tube, sepals and corolla.

In the end he searched this data for the corresponding cross-breeding parents, insofar as they were known. It became clear to him that it was not as simple as initially thought.

'Ken Goldsmith' parents are unknown

In the first place, there were many cultivars that had been given the designation "tri" here and there, of which there was no Fuchsia triphylla in their pedigree at all. There were cultivar names of which one of the parents was unknown but still referred to as "tri".

There were also cultivars of which only the seed parent Fuchsia triphylla was known. Many cultivars also descended from other cultivars where the seed or pollen giver Fuchsia triphylla was known to be the mother or the father.

And what about cultivars such as 'Billy Green', of which neither parent was known, but are still internationally accepted as Fuchsia triphylla cultivars.

In the end, Peter Rijkoort placed all collected data in an overview in which all collected data was collected according to the input of Fuchsia triphylla are classified in their lineage in 4 different groups.                           

                                                                                                                                                             "Billy Green"

Group 1: Triphylla

This group included all cultivars of which one of the parents was known to be Fuchsia triphylla.

But this group also included names such as 'Pangea' with the parentage 'Göttingen' x ( Fuchsia triphylla x Fuchsia pringsheimii ).

Surprisingly, this group also included Fuchsia triphylla as a cultivar.


Group 3: Species Hybrid.

In this group, Peter placed all cultivars that are stubbornly referred to in the fuchsia literature and catalogs as "tri" or Fuchsia triphylla cultivar, but that are demonstrably not because of their parentage.

These are all botanical crosses of 2 or more species not beingFuchsia triphylla.

An example of this is 'Ashley' ( Fuchsia decussata x Fuchsia sancta-rosea )


Group 2: Triphylla type

Under this designation, Mister Rijkoort placed the cultivars of which one

or both parents descended fromFuchsia triphylla such

as 'Our Ted' ( 'Thalia' x 'Thalia' )

                                                                                                                              ‘Our Ted’

Group 4: Fuchsia hybrid.

All other fuchsias with an alleged number of Fuchsia triphylla chromosomes in their lineage of which the crossing parents were unknown or where the correctness of the known crossing parents were uncertain or doubtful, were placed in this group by Peter.

It is striking that this group also includes cultivars such as 'Pan', of which the cross is well known and is one of the ancestors of the seed giver Fuchsia triphylla.


During the many hours, days and months that Peter spent on this research, he also came into contact with some breeders such as Ted Sweetman and Paul Heavens in tracing the lineages and started using other sources of information such as the AFS bulletins and the “Fuchsiengesamtliste by Willy Grund.

This resulted in two more lists of cultivar names of putative Fuchsia triphylla cultivars. One list contained cultivars with its type designation "Fuchsia Hybrids" and the other list contained cultivars with its type designation, "Triphylla Type".

A closer examination of these lists shows that the cultivars were temporarily placed there for convenience or that it had to be concluded that he had lost his way.Later he stopped his work or rather attempts to classify the alleged triphylla cultivars.

He realized that this way of working would not be applicable in publications about fuchsia cultivars.

'Gerard Walschap'  a cultivar with flowers of the triphylla type

Today we can see that, despite his fanaticism, he got stuck on the lack of information about the origin of mainly foreign cultivars and the cumbersome and unreliable way in which information had to be collected at the time. In the present time there is happy with the emergence of it World Wide Web has changed a lot. Much information that was not available at the time is now available and also easier to check for correctness.

Partly because of this, the Cultivar Inventory List that Peter published at the time and used for his research is now much more extensive and reliable as a digital version.


     3. Meaningful use of the designation “tri”

At the end of the last century, the number of fuchsia associations in Europe grew. As a result, the number of cultivars that became available to enthusiasts also increased. Very old cultivars and the many novelties were increasingly exchanged and specialized nurseries supplied cuttings to enthusiasts.

Those very old cultivars included a limited number of which one of the parents or ancestors was Fuchsia triphylla, such as 'Koralle', 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt' and 'Thalia'.

All cultivars that descended directly from Fuchsia triphylla and that were bred at the beginning of the last century.

In the heyday of the fuchsia hobby at the end of that century, these were already real classics and they still are today.


These classics can be found in abundance in the collections of fuchsia lovers and in the catalogs of the nurseries.

With the growing number of fuchsia enthusiasts, the number of fuchsia breeders also grew in the last decades of the last century. These breeders brought various types of new fuchsias onto the market, including many cultivars with Fuchsia triphylla in their genes.

That trend is still going on today, so that there is currently a very wide range of fuchsia cultivars to which the usual "tri" is added until now when these names are mentioned in publications in books and on websites.

Along with the growth in the number of enthusiasts, more and more books about the fuchsia hobby were published in the Netherlands and other European countries.

In these books, attention was usually given to the so-called triphyllas in a small chapter.

'Anika Ohlerich'

The reason for this was the fact that people were convinced that these plants needed an appropriate culture indication because they descended from Fuchsia triphylla, which is certainly not an easy plant.

Usually these books also included a list of plants that descend from

Fuchsia triphylla, which was easy for lovers of this type of plant, but it was also useful for fuchsia enthusiasts who definitely did not want to include these plants in their collection because they did not have the had opportunities to care for these plants as needed.

Fuchsia triphylla may be the first fuchsia species to be cultivated in Europe in the nineteenth century, but it was and still is not a plant for every fuchsia enthusiast.

The plant is difficult to propagate, cultivate and keep without special measures and attention.


      One must therefore respect the plant enthusiasts who in earlier times with the limited means and possibilities at their disposal were able to keep this Fuchsia triphylla in culture and even bred it at the end of the nineteenth century.

      Looking back at that period, we learn that at the time the incorrect name triphyllas and the designation "tri" had some use because the real classic cultivars with Fuchsia triphylla genes have survived in their pedigree.

      The breeding of fuchsias has also taken off, people have been given more options and, above all, they have gained more knowledge and experience.

                                                                                                                                                    'Irish Ophelia'

      As a result, almost every breeder/enthusiast has one or more cultivars in his collection that are now followed by “tri” because of the presence of Fuchsia triphylla somewhere in the lineage.

      There are cultivars of which, for example, the seed donor is Fuchsia triphylla and are therefore less easy to cultivate.

      There are also cultivars in which the share of Fuchsia triphylla is very small or negligible in the pedigree and are therefore much easier to cultivate.

      In a separate chapter we have tried to clarify this and we have also applied this new classification to the descriptions of the cultivar.

      'Silence is Golden'