Thursday, March 6, 2008

Parry's Penstemon

The first of my many Parry's Penstemon (Penstemon parryi) shrubs bloomed this week, and over the next two months, hummingbirds will gather in abundance, drawn there by these self-seeding perennial wildflowers. P. parryi is native to Arizona and northern Mexico. The flower colors of P. parryi can vary from a hot pink to almost red. I have Parry's, Superb, Firecracker, Desert Surprise, and Rocky Mountain Penstemon plants ready to flower. They provide a variety of flower and foliage colors and shapes. Penstemon easily hybridizes, so identification is difficult among the various shrubs after a couple of years.

Penstemon shrubs are about three feet tall and wide, so when the blooming stops I have a lot of cleanup to do. By that time, millions of seeds will have scattered throughout my garden. If I want the flowers, I have to take the seeds. Before long, these plants will be out of control. Luckily, mature shrubs have extremely shallow roots and just pull right up. Thousands of seedlings are currently growing. Some won't make it, many others will continue to mature and be ready to bloom next year, and even more seeds will remain dormant for a couple of years. The only way to deal with this overgrowth is to have pre-emergent treatment in the areas where wildflowers aren't wanted.

7 comments:

Marie said...

Beautiful!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Aiyana
I am a penstemon fan .. I have the standard Huskers Red .. but a few others that I would love to find the tags for ... last year got jumbled up .. they are amazing plants for pulling in hummingbirds, butterflies and bees .. and the different cultivars now with such pretty colours .. great plants !

Nickie said...

I LOVE penstemons. Ever since I've seen my first ones blooming wild in the desert and up in high places. There is nothing quite like them. Wish I could grow them well here, but its WAY TOO WET. Still, that probebly won't stop me from trying LOL!

kate smudges said...

What I like about Penstemon is that they withstand hot summers without needing much water... you are fortunate to have many. (well, maybe too many, but at least they aren't difficult to pull out.

It was good to see more of your garden too ...

Julie said...

Please show us all the other colors of these very beautiful shrubs as they bloom!!!

theysaywordscanbleed said...

lovely flower plant.

Barbara said...

This is indeed a very nice colour you have. I have also penstemon (white and a pink one). Every Spring I am ancxious that frost has killed them. Yesterday I cut them back but I don't know yet whether they will bloom again this summer. I do hope so, because I like this plant very much.