Penstemon grandiflorus

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

That's encouraging cultural information Bob; I think I'll get me some cobaea seed and grow a bunch :)  

Many years ago (1970s) I did grow and flower a couple of color forms of P. grandiflorus, but they never bulked up into beautiful multi-stemmed plants such as those John & Rick show us here.

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

penstemon
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-06-24

I noticed a big seedling growing in a pot that holds a dwarf blue spruce just today.
As you no doubt know, cobaea was one of the species involved in the creation of the "bedding penstemons", to provide extra large flowers, and at least a modicum of hardiness. I'm running yet another trial of bedding types next door; Blackbird, Cerise Kissed, and one other.
When it's happy, there's really nothing like it, unless you grow dahlias.

Bob

Bob

extreme western edge of Denver, Colorado; elevation 1705.6 meters, average annual precipitation 30cm; refuses to look at thermometer if it threatens to go below -17C

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

Nold wrote:

I noticed a big seedling growing in a pot that holds a dwarf blue spruce just today.
As you no doubt know, cobaea was one of the species involved in the creation of the "bedding penstemons", to provide extra large flowers, and at least a modicum of hardiness. I'm running yet another trial of bedding types next door; Blackbird, Cerise Kissed, and one other.
When it's happy, there's really nothing like it, unless you grow dahlias.

Bob

Bob, have you found any of those European-bred "bedding penstemons" to be hardy?  I feel like I've been sucker-punched on these a number of times, but their just not reliably hardy here, at least not in the long run.

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

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Nold wrote:

When it's happy, there's really nothing like it, unless you grow dahlias.
Bob

? ? ? ?  :-\

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

penstemon
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-06-24

Quote:

Bob, have you found any of those European-bred "bedding penstemons" to be hardy? 

No. I mean, not that I would go around recommending that people plant them. They do overwinter here if they get enough moisture in autumn to grow basal leaves, but once I saw them grown the way they should be I figured the heck with them.
For one thing, like most monsoonal species, the Mexican penstemons need too much watering here to be good garden plants. I realize that's a subjective assessment. From mid-July to the end of December last year we had a total of .7 inches (about 1.78cm) rain and snow, and that would have finished them, unless I watered them constantly.
I'm trying them next door because I felt like buying some and it's pretty much a full southern exposure protected from Arctic air blasts (like they say we'll get on Wednesday).
I have three gardens to play in, now.

Bob

Bob

extreme western edge of Denver, Colorado; elevation 1705.6 meters, average annual precipitation 30cm; refuses to look at thermometer if it threatens to go below -17C

penstemon
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-06-24

Quote:

When it's happy, there's really nothing like it, unless you grow dahlias.
Bob

? ? ? ? 

Well, some people do like dahlias. I do, but in other peoples' gardens.
Wasn't it E.A. Bowles who said they were best observed by airplanes? I know he did ask someone once if they were best fried, with brown gravy.

Bob

Bob

extreme western edge of Denver, Colorado; elevation 1705.6 meters, average annual precipitation 30cm; refuses to look at thermometer if it threatens to go below -17C

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

McDonough wrote:

... I did grow and flower a couple of color forms of P. grandiflorus, but they never bulked up into beautiful multi-stemmed plants such as those John & Rick show us here.

I've never seen a wild one here with more than three stems.  Not that I have seen a lot of them, but they usually only have one (stem)!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

I've seen a patch of P. grandiflorus with four or five stems on almost all the plants.They were in a shallow depression out on the short grass prairie of North Dakota. A little extra moisture must accumulated in it after spring and summer showers. It was lovely!

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

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