What Is the Color Fuchsia?


The color fuchsia is a purplish-red that can run from light pinkish-mauve to a brilliant reddish-blue. On the standard HEX color chart, the color chart used for specifying colors on the Web, shades of fuchsia run from roughly #FF00FF to #660033. (Each color on the HEX chart has a six-character code preceded by a hash mark, so designers can specify exact colors.) On the painter's color wheel, it can be any of the several shades between red and purple.

How Fuchsia Got Its Name

  • The name of the color fuchsia comes from a genus of about 105 trees and shrubs native to the Americas. These plants have a characteristic decorative flower with four slender sepals and four shorter petals. The flowers hang from the plant in great profusion through the spring and summer. In tropical climates, they bloom all year round. The sepals often tend toward bright pink, with the petals more a purplish color. This genus was first described by Leonhard Fuchs, a physician interested in medicinal plants, who wrote the first important dictionary of botanical terms. In 1703, the plant genus Fuchsia was named for Fuchs. Later, the characteristic color of the flowers came to be known as fuchsia.

Uses of the Color Fuchsia

  • Fuchsia is a very strong color best used as an accent. A whole room painted fuchsia would be overwhelming, but a single chair, a lampshade, several throw pillows or a small carpet would add a pop of color that can liven up any living area. The color is also popular in make-up, particularly lipstick and nail polish; small housewares such as plates; decorator fabrics; and clothing and shoes. It is usually not used for the exterior of houses, cars, furniture, appliances or electronics.

Fuchsia in Art

  • Andy Warhol and many other Pop Artists (1950s-1960s, Britain and U.S.) liked fuchsia. It is a bright, in-your-face color that complemented the aesthetics, optimism and vibrancy of Pop Art. If you are looking for a poster that would provide a fuchsia accent, look at Warhol, Peter Blake, Keith Haring, Joe Trilson, Richard Smith, Peter Phillips, David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj.

What Colors Go With Fuchsia

  • Lime green and fuchsia are an excellent combination. You should also think about medium grays, most of which compliment shades of fuchsia nicely. Medium blues could work, but you have to make sure the blue is close to the blue in the purple element in the fuchsia. Collect a couple dozen paint chips and experiment.

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