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Diascia

Twinspur
Scrophulariaceae
Annuals, Perennials, Flowers

South African natives related to snapdragon (Antirrhinum). The coral to purplish pink flowers each have two prominent spurs on the back; these bear oils attractive to pollinating bees. Blooms are carried in spike-like clusters at stem ends from spring through early summer and often into fall. At their best used in rock gardens, borders, or containers. With the exception of Diascia barberae, all of the species listed here are perennial, though these perennials may die in winter if planted in heavy, wet soil. Shear back after bloom period.

Twinspur (Diascia barberae) 'Denim'
Twinspur (Diascia barberae) 'Denim'

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Diascia hybrids

These perennial twinspurs include 'Emma', an especially cold-hardy selection to 2 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide, with raspberry-colored blossoms; 'Ice Pole', 10-14 in. high and 18 in. wide, with pure white flowers; 'Langthorn's Lavender', to 1 ft. tall, with lavender blooms; and 'Red Start', to 8 in. high and 1 ft. wide, with watermelon red flowers.

'Ruby Field', to 10 in. high and 2 ft. wide, bears salmon pink blossoms; it is similar to D. cordata, one of its parents, but has a longer bloom season. 'Denim' has deep blue flowers atop 10-inch stems. Petals have a pink wash.

Also look for the species, which has pink flowers.

A group of new hybrids from England (all 7-10 in. high and 1 1/2 ft. wide) includes coral pink 'Coral Belle'; 'Little Charmer', pink with a dark red eye; rosy red 'Red Ace'; and deep pink 'Strawberry Sundae'.

Plants in the Flying Colors series have large flowers in shades of red, pink, apricot, and coral; most grow 6-12 in. high (some grow upright, others are more trailing).

Diascia integerrima 'Diamonte Coral Rose', photo courtesy of Kimberley Navabpour
Diascia integerrima 'Diamonte Coral Rose', photo courtesy of Kimberley Navabpour

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Diascia integerrima

To 1 1/2 ft. high, creeping to 3–4 ft. wide. Leaves are small, linear. Loose spikes of rich purplish pink flowers. ‘Coral Canyon’ grows 12–15 in. high and 1 1/2 ft. wide, bears salmon-pink flowers.

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