At some point in January, during a planetary alignment I received a few seeds of Schizanthus coccineus and a red Rhodophiala from a seed exchange – just at the moment when I found seeds of Alstroemeria zoelnerii germinating in the fridge. We’ve seen all of them growing in their native habitats during our trip to Chile three years ago and would be very exciting to have them growing in our garden.
Another recent planetary alignment made it that from all species Schizanthus coccineus seeds were the first to germinate (in the fridge actually). Good that I caught them on time and now they are growing happily under lights. And it is not alone – seeds of its ‘sister’ in name – Dahlia coccinea, keeps him company. They were kindly gifted by my blogger friend, Gill from On the edge gardening. Dahlia coccinea it is native of Mexico, usually growing at elevations above 1500 m and in oak and pine-oak forests and has bright coloured flowers from yellow to orange and scarlet red.
Note: There are about 15 Schizanthus species in Chile and Argentina (Fam. Solanaceae), commonly called ‘mariposita’, or ‘flor the pajarito’. The common names used for the few cultivated species are: Butterfly flower and Poor Man’s Orchid. The flowers have a particular morphology resembling somehow a flying butterfly and are brightly coloured. They are perennials or annuals, growing in full sun in various habitats; those at high elevations are characterized by large amounts of snow in the winter and dry summer months. One thing is sure – we don’t have to worry about not getting enough snow here… :)