A Penstemon ID please

Submitted by Middleton on Sat, 10/23/2010 - 23:24

Does anyone recognize the plant in the photo?

The photo is a close up caption from a photo taken in June of this year and of course it's a bit out of focus!
In 2008 I received a seed package labelled Penstemon caespitosus var albus. When it bloomed this year, I loved the numerous white blooms sitting just above the leaves. It was the eye catcher at the time. But I'm having doubts about its ID. Confident at the time, I sent seed to the Exchanges. I doubt the species name again.



Submitted by Lori S. on Sun, 10/24/2010 - 10:31

Beautiful plant!  
The leaves on your plant, in particular, don't seem to match the shape descriptions for P. caespitosus either on the site posted by Hugh, or in the Lodewicks' Key to Genus Penstemon (which includes the variations in leaf shape in 4 varieties within the species).  
From what can be made out from the photo, I don't think the flowers on your plant match either.  The corolla seems to be rather flattened at the mouth-end on your plant, as opposed to a more expanded mouth, not "pinched", on P. caespitosus.  

Clear photos, especially close-ups of a flower, would help, if you have any...
Nonetheless, your photo probably gives enough of the character of the plant that I'm sure a penstemon expert will come along soon with an ID for you!

Submitted by Lori S. on Sun, 10/24/2010 - 10:39

... and actually, I wonder if your plant is not a nice, compact, white-flowered form of Penstemon hirsutus 'Pygmaeus'?  
(It seems this species is frequently sent out in seed exchanges in the guise of any of a wide variety of other species... I've ended up with it many times, at any rate!  :))

Here's a beautiful example of a white-flowered Penstemon hirsutus 'Pygmaeus', third photo down:

Submitted by HughGmail on Sun, 10/24/2010 - 15:25

Lori - P hirsutus was actually my first impression but the photo lacked detail.  The overall impression is as you suggest.