Penstemons 2011

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Doreen
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-12-05

This is Penstemon hirsutus (or at least that's the name I bought it under), growing in a deep raised bed in full sun. Top notch plant for the garden, covering itself in flowers for about 3 weeks in early summer, spreading gently but never becoming a thug, and needing no attention except a haircut after flowering.

Doreen Mear
Middle of South Island, New Zealand, in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps.
Continental climate, rare snow cover,
670 mm rain p.a.

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Welcome, Doreen!  It definitely looks like P. hirsutus, with its pinched-shut mouth.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Hello Doreen, a belated welcome to the NARGS Forum from me as well.  A fine looking Penstemon hirsutus there!  Your plant, being so short and floriferous, corresponds to what was known as P. hirsutus var. pygmaeus (and var. minimus), but neither variety is officially recognized. The dwarf forms of hirsutus go around as P. hirsutus pygmaeus or 'Pygmaeus', although technically incorrect, such names are horticulturally useful to differentiate dwarf forms from the regular tall forms (typically about 2' or 60 cm tall).

In seed exchanges penstemons are often misidentified, with P. hirsutus commonly sent out as other species.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Doreen
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-12-05

Lori and Mark: Thank you both for the welcome, for confirming the i.d. and the additional info, thus saving me struggling to check it out myself!  ;) 

Doreen Mear
Middle of South Island, New Zealand, in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps.
Continental climate, rare snow cover,
670 mm rain p.a.

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