A pretty little short-lived perennial, that is usually grown as an annual in the UK. A very useful free flowering plant, especially when grown in full sun. Its dainty twin-spurred flowers give it its common name, twinspur.
Family: Scrophulariaceae (figwort)
Botanical Name: Diascia
Common Names: Twinspur
Foliage: Semi-evergreen, glossy ovate leaves.
Flowers: Dainty cup or shell-shaped flowers, usually in shades of white, pink, peach or orange.
Flowering Period: Early summer to first frosts.
Soil: Any light well-drained, fertile soil. Chalk, sand or loam. Any pH.
Conditions: Best in full sun.
Habit: Mound/mat forming.
Type: Annuals or semi-evergreen tender perennials.
Origin: South Africa
Hardiness: Hardy to half-hardy. Provide overwinter protection in cold areas of the UK.
Plant in an east, west or south facing aspect, in an sheltered location. Protect from cold winds.
Ideal as an edging plant, rockery specimen, front
of the border carpeter or in a summer bedding schemes.
May also be used as filler in hanging baskets and containers.
Older perennials can become straggly, so are best replanted
every few years.
Pinch-out the growing tips of young plants to encourage more bushy growth. Deadhead regularly to extend the flowering period.
Susceptible to attack by slugs and snails. Generally disease free.
Sow seeds in early spring under glass, in a gentle heat. Prick-out, pot on and harden off before planting out at the end of May, once all danger of frost is past.
Can also be propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings. Overwinter young plants undercover.
A number of good cultivars are available, including:
'Rose Queen' produces a profusion of exquisite rose pink flowers. Height to 12in (30cm). Available from Thompson & Morgan.
'Apricot Queen' similar to Rose Queen but with apricot flowers. Height to 12in (30cm). Available from Thompson & Morgan.
'Morning Mist Cultivars' a range of colours in white, coral, orange, pink and red.
'Sundiascia Eternal Flames' (hardy to -8C (18F)) slender spires of pretty tubular blooms in various shades of pink. Height and spread: 12in (30cm). Available from Thompson & Morgan.