All fuchsias are New World plants, first described by a French Jesuit missionary to the West Indies. He named the new genus after Leonard Fuchs, published in Nova Plantarum Americanarum Genera in 1703. By the end of the 18th century, hardy but small flowered Fuchsia magellanica had been widely cultivated in Europe. By the end of the 19th century fad for exotic plants, dozens of tropical species were crossed with F. magellanica to create innumerable hybrids. The ancestry of this and most modern hybrids is so ambiguous most are virtually impossible to trace.
In the Victorian era, fuchsias took on the common name of "lady's eardrops" referring to their resemblance of the elaborate dangling earrings so popular at that time.