Beard-tongue Penstemon (Penstemon palmeri)

(Fig. 01)
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Picture Notes: On 05/23/2013 I came across these Beard-tongue Penstemon (Figs. 01-03) while hiking a wash along CC Spring Rd. in Lovell Canyon. Though I have seen many of these tall, leafy, bushy plants over time and wondered what they were, this is only the second time I have come upon one them while in bloom. As we walked up the wash we encountered more than a half-dozen of them. Click this link to read more about this hike … CC-Spring Road at Lovell Canyon. The first time I saw one of these beautiful plants in the wild (Fig. 04) was on 05/24/2012 while hiking along Wheeler Pass Road. Earlier in the month, 05/10/2012, I saw one in a man-made flower bed behind the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center (Fig. 05), and just loved its color, daintiness and overall beauty. I want to give recognition to my cousin John Coxon for being the first of several persons who helped me identify it.
Description: Beard-tongue Penstemon (Penstemon palmeri), a.k.a. Palmer's Penstemon named after the botanist Edward Palmer. This drought-tolerant perennial penstemon noted for its showy, rounded flowers, is mostly native to washes and bajadas between 3,600 to 7,500 feet in the eastern Mojave Desert in California, eastern Nevada, northeastern Arizona, and New Mexico, and north through areas in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho. Its sub-woody, branched stems bear oblong, grayish leaves which ascend the stalk in fused pairs. A few sparsely-leaved, erect, stout stems have swollen white to reddish-pink bilaterally symmetrical flowers mostly turned to one side in a long, narrow cluster. Flowers spikes grow erect and may reach between 4-6 feet in height.  and bear It's flower, a profusion of large, white flowers tinged with pink, has a five-lobed calyx of sepals and a cylindrical corolla with may have an expanded throat. Typically, the staminode is a partially hairy, long straight filament extending to the mouth of the corolla, giving the general appearance of an open mouth with a fuzzy tongue protruding and inspiring the common name Beard-tongue. Though its showy, rounded flower usually has large pink to violet to blue-purple petals, it is sometimes red, yellow, or white flowered. It grows erect and may reach a maximum height of over 6 feet. The leaves are generally oppositely arranged and have toothed margins. One of the most delightful species of Penstemon, its cheery puffed-up flowers are exquisitely fragrant.
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