Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mariposita (Little Butterfly), Poor Man's Orchid
Schizanthus tricolor

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Schizanthus (ski-ZAN-thus) (Info)
Species: tricolor (TRY-kull-lur) (Info)

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Light Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Ursula
Thumbnail #1 of Schizanthus tricolor by Ursula

By Ursula
Thumbnail #2 of Schizanthus tricolor by Ursula


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Ursula On Jun 2, 2007, Ursula from Santiago
Chile (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is an herbaceous annual that loves full sun to partial shade and medium watering. They can reach up to 50cm height, grows very fast and it is recommended to plant them some 30cm apart.

Schizanthus tricolor does best if directly sowed, but can also be sowed in trays and transplanted.

Sowing recommendations: autumn sowing in a mixture of equal parts of compost and sharp river sand. Make sure to use a deep tray, since they develop large roots. Cover the mix with a layer of sand, place the seeds and slightly cover with more sand. Place the tray in a cold frame or cold greenhouse. Sometimes Schizanthus are a bit stubborn to germinate. In such case, place them in a shady or dark place until germination occurs. Seedlings can be picked and transplanted once they have two true leaves.

Positive grapesie On Apr 25, 2007, grapesie from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I bought this seed from Ursula and did very little beyond planting it, letting it sit in the greenhouse and watering it. Blooming beautifully now. Took five or six months from seed to flower.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Francisco, California

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