Not quite penstemon caryi

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Broekhuis
Broekhuis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-18
Not quite penstemon caryi

So here's another penstemon which is almost certainly misidentified in our garden (of all genera, it seems like penstemon has given me the most misidentified plants from seed trades and society exchanges!)
It came to me as P. caryi, but the foliage looks nothing like the image at http://apsdev.org/identification/descriptions.php?whichspecies_name=caryi . Any suggestions what I have on my hands?
Thanks in advance,
Rob

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

Broekhuis wrote:

So here's another penstemon which is almost certainly misidentified in our garden (of all genera, it seems like penstemon has given me the most misidentified plants from seed trades and society exchanges!)
It came to me as P. caryi, but the foliage looks nothing like the image at http://apsdev.org/identification/descriptions.php?whichspecies_name=caryi . Any suggestions what I have on my hands?
Thanks in advance,
Rob

Sorry Rob, but once again it looks like you have Penstemon hirsutus.

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

Broekhuis
Broekhuis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-18

I had considered that, and will take your word for it. Still, it takes quite a different form from the first one: plants are much bushier and not as strongly upright, and flowers aren't as pinched. Maybe a form in between P. hirsutus and P. hirsutus pygmaeus? I used to grow the latter, but it has expired from our gardens.

_____________________________________________

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, USA - zone 6, maybe 6b. Suburbaner.

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

Broekhuis wrote:

I had considered that, and will take your word for it. Still, it takes quite a different form from the first one: plants are much bushier and not as strongly upright, and flowers aren't as pinched. Maybe a form in between P. hirsutus and P. hirsutus pygmaeus? I used to grow the latter, but it has expired from our gardens.

Rob, the species P. hirsutus is variable.  I have some that are quite leafy, others more sparse of foliage.  If you grow both the "pygmaeus" form and regular tall forms, you can expect seedling plants of every size inbetween.  In my front yard, where I also grow P. digitalis, I suspect some of my plants are hybrids between the two species.  And, the other possibility is that your plant is one of the allied Eastern USA species which are similar to hirsutus and separated on minor differences, such as P. canescens.  But back to the basic question, it is definitely not P. caryi, a lovely species that I grew many years ago.

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

Weintraub
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-24

Agreed that this is P. hirsutus. If you have two forms of the species, expect variation.

Barbara Weintraub
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
6700 feet elevation - high and dry
nominally zone 5b; i think it's closer to 6a

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