Schizanthus pinnatus

Common Name: poor man's orchid 
Type: Annual
Family: Solanaceae
Native Range: Chile
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Red, pink, purple, yellow, and white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy

Noteworthy Characteristics

Schizanthus pinnatus is a cool-weather annual of the nightshade family that is native to the mountains of Chile. Its 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.


No serious insect or disease problems. Plants are difficult to grow well in St. Louis. They perform poorly when hot summer weather arrives.


Beds and borders. Hanging baskets. Containers. Houseplant.