Butterfly Flower
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Butterfly Flower
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Butterfly Flower, Poor Man's Orchid, Fringe flower
Botanical name: Schizanthus x wisetonensis    Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)

Butterfly Flower is an erect 30-50 cm high and heavily branched, annual herb with attractive light-green foliage. The alternate fern-like leaves are broadly lanceshaped in outline, but much divided, often pinnatisect with segments incised or toothed. The flowers, appearing in large, branched clusters, are rather unlike most Solanaceae flowers. The deeply cut asymetrical flower resembles two widespread lips varying in color from white through bluish and pink to carmine. The middle lobe of the upper lip is always bright yellow and variously blotched independent of petal color. The flower tube is shorter than the 5-clefted, almost 5-parted sepal-cup. The style and the 2 stamens are usually rather short-exerted. The fruit is a many-seeded capsule. The irregular shape and winglike petals may resemble butterflies or mini orchids and has inspired the common name. The genus name Schizanthus (schizo = divided) refers to the deeply cut flower. Butterfly Flower is native to South America.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Garden of Five Senses, Delhi.

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