Thanks for the info, Claire, I'm sure I've considered seed of P rupicola on the Alplains list (hard to choose from -what is it, 4 pages?- so many Penstemons on that list..lol)
R lobbii is a cool one too, another to look for.. Bear Grass is another thing I've always admired, a little meadow of it would be very nice!
Hope the fires stay away.. we've hardly had 31 minutes without rain since late May...lol (exaggeration, but no more than a few days without rain for sure, when we've had a day or most of one without rain, I joke that it's getting really dry...)
west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/
I grow penstemon rupicola (from seed) and it is never as floriferous as it is in the mountains. But even a few flowers of that bright, deep color are worth the effort.
On the other hand, bear grass grows quite well in my nearly sea level garden, flowering most years, and otherwise is a nice spray of fine, green leaves. One reason there was such a field of it is because all the tall vegetation had been removed under power lines.
Bellevue, Washington Zone 7-8
Have to try that penstemon in my garden too! I have considered bear grass before but never tried it. Do you or anybody know whether it is easy from seed?
Penstemons seem to germinate easily - I have several species seedlings for testing now.
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!
I've grown Xerophyllum tenax from seed several times (and killed it, too, I might add). I planted more seeds this past winter -- seeds that came from the 2007 AGC-BC seed exchange, stored in the refrigerator all this time. I have a pot full of seedlings, with germination starting in March of this year. So I'd guess bear grass isn't hard from seed.