Lost Fuchsia: Duchess of Fife

Today’s lost fuchsia is ‘Duchess of Fife’, which was introduced in 1892.

We know very little about this cultivar and are hoping that our fuchsia detectives will  help us to find more information about this historic cultivar.

On this occasion the partner named fuchsia ‘Duke of Fife’, doesn’t appear to have been introduced by James Lye (like the Duke of Albany and Duchess of Albany) instead the ‘Duke of Fife’ appears to have been introduced by another keen fuchsia grower, Edward Banks (from Sholden Hall, Kent) in 1894.

As we know very little about this cultivar,  we are providing some information about the person we believe James may have named the cultivar after in the hope that this may lead to some further information.

We suspect that the fuchsia cultivar ‘Duchess of Fife’ is named after the 2nd Duchess who was born in 1891.    Princess Arthur of Connaught, 2nd Duchess of Fife, RRC, GCStJ (Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise Duff).  Alexandra was a granddaughter of King Edward VII and great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

The  titles and styles of the 2nd Duchess of Fife:

  • 17 May 1891 – 9 November 1905: Lady Alexandra Duff
  • 9 November 1905 – 29 January 1912: Her Highness Princess Alexandra
  • 29 January 1912 – 15 October 1913: Her Highness Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife
  • 15 October 1913 – 26 February 1959: Her Royal Highness Princess Arthur of Connaught, Duchess of Fife

It is possible that James named the cultivar after Alexandra’s mother, Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife (Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar), Louise was the third child and the eldest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

The titles and styles of the 1st Duchess of Fife:

  • 20 February 1867 – 27 July 1889: Her Royal Highness Princess Louise of Wales
  • 27 July 1889 – 22 January 1901: Her Royal Highness Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife
  • 22 January 1901 – 9 November 1905: Her Royal Highness The Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife
  • 9 November 1905 – 4 January 1931: Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

Additional Clues on where this cultivar has previously been listed to help our detectives:

Mentioned in the Dobbies Catalogue, 1893

We hope that our fuchsia detectives will help us find more information about this fuchsia cultivar, including any information relating to when it was first listed or when it was last listed in a nursery catalogue or publication.  Does it appear just in publications in the UK or elsewhere in Europe?

Any information you can share, will help us and other fuchsia detectives helping us in the search.

#lostfuchsias #harperdebbage #fife #queenvictoria #nationalplantcollection #plantheritage #wiltshire

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