Diascia is a genus of about 70 species in the family Scrophulariaceae, native to southern Africa. Diascia produces small, dark green leaves and small, but profuse flowers. The colorful, shell-like flowers are borne in loose clusters from spring to autumn. They are tubular and lipped, each with two spurs on the rear of the flower. Diascia is an extremely popular ornamental plant worldwide. It is great for rockeries, containers, and borders.
The genus name is derived from the Greek words "di" ("two") and "askos" ("bladder" or "sac"), referring to the pair of oil-containing spurs on the back of each flower.
The common name "Twinspur" also comes from this distinctive feature.
Diascia is a symbol of fidelity and friendship.
Interesting facts about Diascia:
Many plants have developed a special relationships with other organisms, and so these plants have evolved a relationship with a small group of bees. Diascia species are pollinated by a specific genus of oil-collecting bees - Rediviva. Diascia has two long spurs on the back of each flower that contain oil-producing glands to entice bee pollinators. The spurs can vary in length in various species of Diascia, which has everything to do with their specific pollinator. The bees must introduce their especially equipped forelegs into the paired spurs of Diascia, in order to collect oil from inside the two spurs. If they succeed in doing this, they will effectively hug the reproductive parts of the flower and effect pollination.