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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)


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


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:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

San Francisco, California

Gardeners' Notes:


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 o... read more


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.