Wild Fuchsia
(Hummingbird Trumpet)

Genus Zauschneria
Evening Primrose Family (Onagraceae)

Wild Fuchsia
(Zauschneria garrettii)
or (Epilobium canum)

My first thought, when I saw this plant with bright red flowers growing from a crack in a granite cliff, was that it was Scarlet Gilia. But upon looking closer I could see that the blossoms were not symmetrical.

So I jumped to the conclusion that it must be a species of red penstemon that I hadn't seen before -- perhaps the Scarlet Bugler (related to, but somewhat different from the Eaton's Penstemon which I had seen in central Utah).

Plants growing from crack in
    a granite cliff

Bright red blossoms
   of hummingbird trumpet

But the shape was not quite right -- penstemons have three lobes on the lower lip of the corolla, and this flower seemed to have only two.

With the help of a friend, and by checking other references, I found out what it was. I also found that the newer reference books give it a different scientific name -- Epilobium canum, meaning that it is closely related to Fireweed, which it doesn't resemble at all!

Little Cottonwood Canyon
Wasatch Mountains
Salt Lake County, Utah


by Sandra Bray
August 2003