Mrs. Dependable

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parry's penstemon
PENSTEMON parryi
SCROPHULARIACEAE

  • PLANTS 10" tall, about a 1-2' wide, FLOWERS SPIKES TO 3'

  • PERENNIAL

  • regular to moderate water (low to terrace zones)

  • FULL SUN TO PART SHADE

  • HARDY TO ABOUT MID 15º F

  • blooms intensely in March and April with bright pink blooms

  • NECTAR PLANT FOR BUTTERFLIES AND INSECTS

Of all the penstemons you see in the market in Arizona, this one is usually the most common. Its blooming cycle is more intense and concentrated, but it is also the most dependably successful in the landscape here, often reseeding and volunteering around the landscape. 

Parry's penstemon (Penstemon parryi) blooms intensely in March and April with bright pink blooms. Afterward, plants drop tiny, shiny seeds which will grow into next year's bloomers. WIth penstemons, we suggest you plant as many species as possible so as to extend and differentiate your blooming season--different penstemons bloom at different times, with slightly different colors. It is important to keep your hummers happy throughout the season is important (yes, you probably already know this is a hummingbird magnet). 

The foliage usually grows to about 10 inches high and a foot wide. Flowers tower over about 2-3 feet. Plants that are not on irrigation may be much smaller but still pretty when blooming. This plant is damaged at temperatures below 15º F.

All penstemons love well-drained soil. Full to part sun is best. Mix in with other flowering native plants for a native wild garden effect, and to keep pollinators happy. 

Plants are important nectar-producing plants for all sorts of critters. Penstemons have been demonstrably important to native bees. 

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Katherine Gierlach