|Coral Penstemon, Penstemon superbus.|
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A low evergreen shrub, or herbaceous perennial. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds.
It has sprawling or upright growth patterns. The flower stalks are often arched over near the tops and straighten out as the stem gains strength. The corolla lobes are very small so that it appears to be a very narrow long closed tube instead of being open.
This short-lived perennial grows to 2 feet wide and produces coral blooms on stalks that may reach 6 feet high. Can flower from February to as late as June.
Fast growing; heat-tolerant; hardy to 5°.
Plant in fall. Grows well in filtered shade in well-draining soil. Needs regular summer water.
Height: About 3 - 4 feet in height.
Flowers: The flower is coral color, funnel-shaped, with short round lobes. The corolla is about 3/4 inch long, glandular and hairy on the outside. It has a broad upper corolla with a 2 - lobed lip, bent upward. The lower corolla lip is 3 - lobed and bent downward. There are 5 stamens, the fifth is sterile but bearded at the tip.
Blooming Time: February - May.
Stalk: Several erect, sparsely leaved stems with pinkish-lavender, bilaterally symmetrical flowers in a long, open, interrupted cluster.
Leaves: Green to blue - green, fleshy, about 2 - 5 inches long, basal leaves petiolate; cauline leaves cordate-clasping or connate-perfoliate.
Found: The USDA claims it is native to the USA (AZ, NM). It is also found in Mexico in northern Sonora, & Chihuahua.
Elevation: As a native plant, Coral Penstemon occurs at elevations of 3,500 to 5,500 feet.
Hardiness:. We have heard of it being hardy to Zone 4a, but have never seen it any higher in elevation than Zone 8a.
Soil pH requirements:
Habitat: Rocky canyons and washes of Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico. Chalky/alkaline, Dry, Sandy, Well-drained/light soils, sandy washes.
Miscellaneous: Photos Taken February 21, 2008. Glendale, Arizona. Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping.
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