Schizanthus pinnatus, known as poor man’s orchid, is a cool-weather annual of the nightshade family that is native to the mountains of Chile. This colorful cool-weather flower grows blooms that look amazingly like that of the orchid plant.
Schizanthus pinnatus variously colored flowers reportedly resemble the flowers of some orchids, hence the common name. Plants typically grow to 18” tall on erect, branching stems with deeply cut leaves (to 4” long) having entire to dentate segments. Flowers bloom in cymes from spring until the heat of summer sets in. Flower colors including shades of red, pink, purple, yellow and white, often with purple spotting and a yellow blotch in the center. Genus name comes from the Greek words schizo meaning to divide and anthos meaning a flower as the corolla is deeply cut. Specific epithet is for the deeply cut pinate leaves.