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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    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.

    Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium. Sand Hollow State Park, Utah. Another #friendofpenstemons trying to steal the show. Very nice backlit in the morning light against the red sand.

    Flower on Echinocereus triglochidiatus I got from Intermountain Cactus. Description has it hailing from the Manzano Mountains in New Mexico. “Unusual with large tubercles and only 3 spines per areole.” For me, that translates as “big bumps; not so spiny. Has big red flowers. Is good.”

    'Copper Pot' Eschscholzia californica and Penstemon sepalulus are taking center stage in the gravel garden since more structural agaves, yuccas and various grasses aren’t up to snuff to carry it on their own. But color means lots of gawkers. Now if only the city would let me do something about that strip of green in the park strip. That’s Eremurus robustus ‘Spring Valley Splendor’ on the right, by the way.

    Penstemon humilis var. obtusifolius (Zion Penstemon), along the Hidden Canyon Trail, Zion National Park, Utah.

    Penstemon pinorum (Pinyon Penstemon), Old Iron Town Road, Cedar City, Utah. This guy has only been its own species since 1985. It is found growing among the Juniper forest and is listed as critically imperiled.

    This is the best shot I got, so we’ll have to live with it. For those as deeply dissatisfied as I am, here is a link to a better image.

    Penstemon thompsoniae, (Thompson’s Penstemon), Old Iron Town Road, Cedar City, Utah.

    There was some debate as to whether this itty bitty thing was P. caespitosa or P. thompsoniae. The botanists came down on the side of P. thompsoniae. Regardless, these plants are tiny. You had to look really closely for those plants and even closer to make sure you didn’t step on any.

    Penstemon confusus, (Mistaken Penstemon) Old Iron Town Road, Cedar City, Utah.

    Penstemon eatonii var. eatonii (Firecracker Penstemon) growing out of cracks in the rock along the Hidden Canyon Trail, Zion National Park, Utah.

    Penstemon √ójonesii (Jones’s Penstemon), Hidden Canyon Trail, Zion National Park, Utah.

    A naturally occurring hybrid between P. eatonii and P. laevis, both of which can also be seen on this trail. This plant is endemic to Zion National Park. 

    Phlox longifolia, Skull Valley, Utah. Photo credit Steve Hegji.

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