Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Schizanthus pinnatus Ruiz & Pav.

Frost tender, erect annual with fern-like foliage and terminal, open cymes of tubular, flared, 2-lipped, white, yellow, pink, purple or red flowers with yellow, streaked or spotted throats, from spring to autumn.  To 50cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘[Schizanthus pinnatus] flowered for the first time in this country, in the collection of Dowager Lady Tankerville, at Walton upon Thames.’  [BR f.725/1823].  A plant flowered in Britain by John Walker in 1822 is figured in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and had pink flowers.  This may well be Lady Tankerville’s plant.  [BM t.2404/1823].  A more robust plant with purple flowers was also figured in this journal.  [BM t.2521/1824].  Paxton’s Dictionary describes the variety humilis with crimson flowers, introduced in 1831 and figured in the Botanical Register [BR f.1562/1833], the Floricultural Cabinet [FC p.25/1833] and in Paxton’s Magazine of Botany, although in the latter the flowers are depicted as mauve and red.  ‘This very pretty variety was introduced by Mr. Hugh Cuming, in 1831, who collected seeds of it in Chili. […] It is a hardy annual, of the most easy culture, flourishing in any kind of light soil, and ripening seeds freely.’  [MB p.198/1835].  ‘Schizanthus violaceus of the French gardens appears to be a violet-flowered form of S. pinnatus obtained from Vilmarin in 1853.’  [Gard. Chron. 1853].  

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [H.211/1843].


Published Oct 10, 2009 - 04:53 PM | Last updated Jul 31, 2010 - 04:28 PM

Figured is the ferny foliage and pink flowers with purple lips.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2404, 1823.

Schizanthus pinnatus Ruiz & Pav. | BM t.2404/1823 | BHL

Family Solanaceae
Region of origin


  • Schizanthus grandiflorus Hort.
  • Schizanthus papilionaceus Hort.
  • Schizanthus pinnatus f. papilionaceus Voss
Common Name

Poor man’s orchid, Butterfly flower, Fringe flower

Name in the Camden Park Record

Schizanthus pinnatus 

Confidence level high