Schizanthus also called butterfly flower, fringeflower, poor-man's-orchid, is a genus of plants in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. They are annual or biennial herbaceous plants, with attractive flowers. The genus includes species native to Chile and Argentina, many species are adventitious in other parts of the world such as New Zealand and the United States.
Annual or biennial, glandulous-pubescent herbaceous plants, with alternate, pinnatilobate or bipinnatisect leaves and attractive flowers, arranged at the end of stems. The flowers are zygomorphic and hermaphrodite. Plants in the Schizanthus genus are entomophilous, that is, they require that their pollen is transported from plant to plant by insects. The majority of Schizanthus species are pollinated by hymenoptera (bees, bumblebees and wasps). However, the species with white flowers (S. candidus, S. integrifolius and S. lacteus) are pollinated by moths, and Schizanthus grahamii is pollinated by hummingbirds.
Schizanthus species are cultivated in the horticulture trade and widely available as an ornamental plant for gardens. The flowers are available in a wide range of colours and sizes, and are delicately spotted and blotched like the smaller butterflies. The blooms on a well-grown plant are produced in such profusion as to completely cover it. For the garden the dwarfed varieties should be chosen as the tall sorts grow rather slender and crooked. The leaves are attractive with soft green, deeply cut and fern like that are often covered with fine hair.
This flower was used by Celia Sánchez in the Cuban Revolution to hide telegrams. A number of species are cultivated as ornamentals throughout the world, but perhaps the most used is Schizanthus × wisetonensis. Some cultivars of this species are "Angel Wings", "Disco", "Hit Parade", "Treasure Trove™ Lilac", "Treasure Trove™ Pure White", "Treasure Trove™ Pure Scarlet Shades" (the latter have been patented in the United States).
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.