What's in a Name
Madalyn Drago, AFS President

Why can't most people spell fuchsia? I once heard that "fuchsia" (probably referring to the color) was one of the ten most misspelled words. I wonder what are the other nine words. Whenever I present programs to general garden clubs, the first thing I do is ask if anyone can spell "fuchsia". Invariably, no one can. Then I explain that the flower is named after Leonhart Fuchs and adding "ia" to Fuchs latinizes the name so it becomes botanical. I've been told that the explanation helps people remember how "fuchsia" is spelled.
I'm amazed how many ways fuchsia can be misspelled. Surely, you have seen "fushia", "fuchia","fusha" "fuscia" 'fucsia" 'fuschia" and "fushcia". When the Pacifica Branch was meeting at the American Legion Hall, their meeting dates were entered on a large year-at-a-glance calendar. Each month had a different spelling for the Fuchsia Society. Maybe they thought they would get one month right.
My husband finds fuchsia lore for me on eBay but he has to put the key word in with several misspellings. After he rejects items that are fuchsia colored or the flower is not really a fuchsia, a columbine, for example, then he shows them to me. Even commercial manufacturers misspell fuchsia. I have bone china from two different English makers, which have "FUSCHIA" imprinted on the front of the saucers.
In this age of spell check in computers, I'm surprised when I see fuchsia misspelled in print. I actually saw a published garden book that misspelled fuchsia. When I would send in publicity to our local newspaper, it would be printed as written but the the headline which the newspaper makes up would often misspell fuchsia. I would always contact the editor of the Pacifica Tribune when this happened because the fuchsia is the city flower of Pacifica and its residents should at least get it right.
As AFS members, we do double duty. We have to get people interested in fuchsias as well as educate them on the spelling of the word.