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Monday, June 23, 2014

Schizanthus Flowers

Type of Flower 
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 and they belong to the Schizanthoideae subfamily of the solanaceae. 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. The calyx has 5 parts, with linear or spatulate segments. The corolla is bilabiate; the superior labia is tripartite, with the central lobe complete and notched and the two laterals bifid. The inferior labia is tripartite with the central lobe notched, almond-shaped and the laterals are complete. The androecium is formed of 4(5) didynamous stamens, the two or three inferior stamens are reduced to staminodes. The fruit is a pluriseminate boll, dehiscent by two bifid valves. The basic chromosome number is x=10.
The species currently recognized in Schizanthus are the following: 
  • Schizanthus alpestris 
  • Schizanthus candidus 
  • Schizanthus grahamii 
  • Schizanthus hookerii 
  • Schizanthus integrifolius 
  • Schizanthus lacteus 
  • Schizanthus laetus 
  • Schizanthus litoralis 
  • Schizanthus parvulus 
  • Schizanthus pinnatus S
  • chizanthus porrigens 
  • Schizanthus tricolor

It is best to grow Fringe flower and other members of the Schizanthus genus indoors from seeds. They should be sown at a depth of 3 mm in a rich soil of pH 6 to 7 about 2 months before the last expected frost of spring. It should take about two or three weeks for the Schizanthus seeds to germinate in the dark at a temperature of 15 to 23 degrees centigrade. Once growing, transplant the Schizanthus (Fringe flower) seedlings outdoors in the middle of spring a couple of weeks after the last chance of a frost. They should be grown in a sunny part of the garden and spaced from 25 cm (small Schizanthus species), 40cm (medium varieties) or 60 to 80 cm (large Schizanthus varieties) apart. 
It is not easy to look after Schizanthus species. To get a nice bushy growth the plants should be pinched back at the tips when they reach 8cm, and again when they reach 16 cm in height. The young plants should be supported with stakes. Water regularly to keep the soil moist, but avoid getting water on the leaves and flowers. If you require more Schizanthus plants then it is best to grow them from seed or to purchase them from a garden center.


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