Our tree fuchsias (Fuchsia excorticata, Maori – Kōtukutuku) have just been in flower and it’s another phase in their most unusual life. NZ tree fuchsia are not your well-behaved tub plant – I’ve seen them 12 metres high and nearly a metre diameter. They definitely show better in the south tho’ with our harder, colder winters ensuring good leaf drop and showing off their peeling (exfoliating) bark to full effect. They have other surprises too including blue pollen, copious peeling bark, green under bark and sweet edible fruit.
For further reading a good starting point is
Godley and Berry. 1995 . The biology and systematics of Fuchsia in the South Pacific. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 82 : 473 – 516