Ink & Penstemon

Observations on plants, gardening, & nature from the Great Basin steppe in the American West.

If you get mired in something, click on the Penstemon barbatus 'Elfin Pink' image.



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    You keep your goldenrod. I’ll take Rabbitbush flowers this time of year.

    Okay, I’ll take goldenrod, too. But, Rabbitbush!

    Delosperma ‘Fire Spinner’ and D. cooperi in the garden today. Whenever I saw hardy ice plant in the nurseries, they left me cold. Granted, a lot of this was due to my knowledge of their invasive nature from my Californian friends. But I finally bit the bullet and now I LOVE them. One thing I don’t see anyone mention is how reflective and almost metallic their flowers are. And D. cooperi is amazingly bulletproof as a garden plant. I bought it for 50¢ of a clearance rack at the supermarket and planted it in July and not only did it not die, but it has flowered non-stop. Incredible.

    More from the Stireman garden. So dreamy.

    Aster oblongifolius ‘Dream of Beauty’ doing its thing. Looks good with the poppies, too.

    Leptodactylon watsonii, Grove Creek Canyon, Mt. Timpanogos. Photo credit Steve Hegji.

    Dogbane seedpod, Grove Creek Canyon, Mt. Timpanogos. Photo credit Steve Hegji.

    Rrrrrrred! It’s a good time of year for red in the garden. It’s electric in the late summer sun.

    Top to bottom: Blue-black pearl of a viable seed amidst sterile red seeds of Paeonia mlokosewitchii. The interior of the seed pod looks like a piece of flesh. I love this plant. It’s on my top 5, easily. Hummingbird-licious Lobelia cardinalis spike growing in the water-pot gardens. I’ve not treated this plant very well, so the fact it’s blooming bodes well for its future in my garden. Phygelius x rectus ‘New Sensation’ looking sensational. I keep waiting for this plant to die one winter, so every year it doesn’t is a gift.

    More flora of the Wind River Range: Penstemon glaber (so pretty!), Trifolium hybridum, and Hymenoxys hoopesii. Photo credit Steve Hegji.

    Since Steve went to the Winds, I’ve been developing a bit of an obsession over them. I foresee a backpacking trip in my future, perhaps with llamas as they are a common sight as pack animals in the Winds. Check out this site where you can rent a llama for a trek.


    Monument plants on Missionary Ridge, July 2014.

    Very nice set of Frasera speciosa. Common names also include Elkweed, Deer Ears, Green Gentian, Showy Frasera.

    (via carex)

    Gentiana detonsa (Fringed gentian), Wind River Range, Wyoming. Photo credit Steve Hegji.

    Pretty set from Steve’s photos from his visit to the Winds. More to follow, as promised.

    Eriogonum heracleoides (whorled buckwheat), Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah. Photo credit, Steve Hegji.

    Lupinus argenteus, Dry Creek trail, Alpine, Utah. Photo credit Steve Hegji.

    Baileya pleniradiata (Wooly Desert Marigold), Sand Hollow State Park, Utah. Similar to B. multiradiata, but this is B. pleniradiata because it is better branched and leafier, and just nicer overall. Generally an annual, but will stick around for a second year if the winter is mild. It flowers twice a year, after the winter-spring rains, and then again after the late summer “monsoons.”

    Yucca elata in flower at Sand Hollow State Park, Utah, along with Penstemon ambiguus.

    Abronia fragrans (fragrant sand Verbena). Hidden Canyon Trail, Zion National Park, Utah.

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