Diastema species (Colombia)
by Dale Martens
Grown by Barbara Lovins
This plant, of a species newly introduced from Columbia, was shown by the grower at the 1997 Convention of the American Gloxinia and Gesneriad Society, and won "Best New Species". Diastema is a genus of low-growing herbs with rhizomatous root structures. They have an annual dormant period, and are typically propagated from rhizomes. Flowers are often white with purple markings, as in this species, but can also be bright red.
Other Diastemas on the site include D. comiferum (with red flowers) and D. vexans (with white and purple flowers). D. comiferum has been used in the production of an intergeneric hybrid with Phinaea, xPhinastema 'California Dreaming', which was produced by Dale Martens. Another intergeneric hybrid, xGloxistema 'First Frost', involves the genus Gloxinia, and further illustrates the potential of Diastema for production of interesting and attractive hybrids.