Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Last Wildflower

Penstemon parryi



By May 10, most all the Penstemon flowers in my garden are spent and the seedpods ripening. This year, I trimmed off the flower stalks before the seedpods opened because the last thing I need next spring is another 100,000 stray Penstemon seedlings coming up everywhere. I spent countless hours pulling up all those seedlings and I'm not going to do that again next year! However, germination is irregular with this genus and species, so I may just get another bumper crop next spring regardless of my work to prevent it. Our heavy late winter rains this past year probably brought up seeds from three years ago.

The Penstemon in the photo was still blooming when I trimmed all the other plants in early May, so I just let it be. It has continued to flower with no signs of slowing anytime soon. It must be in just the right place with the right amount of water from nearby shrubs. Our temperatures are heading back up into the triple digits after a week's respite, and this species usually doesn't flower in intense heat. Once these flowers are gone, that's it for wildflowers this year. In the meantime, the hummingbirds are loving these!

8 comments:

Stuart said...

Over here in the UK my Penstemons have barely even started to think about flowering, and the weather this week has been so overcast and wet that it's not helping to encourage them at all!

beckie said...

What a pretty wild flower.But even with pretty- a little goes a long way. I found that out with cone flowers. I was so happy the first year to find seedlings coming up. I transpllanted many of them into bare spots. Oh my! ow I am pulling them out, giving them away and generally regretting encouraging them.

Karen said...

What type of hummingbird to you have in your region? Love the blooms~!

Sugarplum Cottage said...

Do you think these could grow in Mississippi? I simply love it. Thanks for visitin' my blog and I'll check back next Tuesday.

Hugs, RoseMarie

Barbara said...

Up to now I wasn't so happy with my penstemons (they never seeded out , perhaps the seeds don't like cold winters!). I'd like to have some more plants!!

No Rain said...

Karen,
We have Anna's Hummingbird here almost all year.
RoseMarie,
Parry's Penstemon is recommended for USDA Zone 9-10. I imagine MS is Zone 6-7. If so, two other Penstemons would work--Talus Slope Penstemon (P. digitalis) for Zone 3-8. Also Beardlip Penstemon (P. baratus)Zone 3-8. Those I know about. There's probably many more, as there are about 275 species of Penstemon.

Julie said...

Triple digits??? How do you survive all summer??? It's not even June yet! I better keep on seeing regular daily posts from you, as summer drones on...or I will think you melted!!! LOL

kate smudges said...

This is a beautiful-coloured Penstemon. I used to have several in my garden, until this year. For some reason, they died back.