Penstemon Parryi Plants


Penstemon parryi plants are perennial flowers. Desirable for their delicate appearance, ease of care and ability to attract hummingbirds, they are native to the United States and are frequently grown in home gardens, according to the University of Arizona. Also called Parry's beardtongue or desert penstemon, these attractive wildflowers are the most commonly planted of the penstemon species. They can be grown from seed, cuttings or division.


Penstemon parryi flowers are desirable for their tall, showy stalks of purple or pink flowers. The flowers are small (less than an inch long) and trumpet-shaped. The stems can grow as large as 3 feet tall, according to the University of Arizona. The greenish-blue leaves, which are long, slender and soft, grow to about 7 inches up the flower stems. One P. parryi plant can become as large as 2 feet wide and feature multiple flower stalks.


Penstemon parryi plants are native to the United States. They grow in the wild in the desert canyons of southern Arizona, at elevations between 1,500 and 5,000 feet, according to Desert Connections, which is an informational botanical website co-hosted by the Pima County Library and Tuscon Botanical Gardens. In the wild, the plants are usually scattered here and there, but in cultivation they are usually planted in large groups for a better visual presentation.


Penstemon parryi is an easy plant to grow, according to Desert Connections. The plant is not cold-hardy, however, and will only grow year-round in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zones 8 through 10. In other locations, it can be grown as an annual and, in fact, might reseed itself successfully.


This wildflower thrives in full sun and will also grow in partial shade. It is drought-tolerant but will bloom better with regular waterings during the hot summer months. It does not need supplemental watering during the rest of the year, as natural rainfall amounts are enough to keep it watered, according to the University of Arizona. P. parryi will adapt to any type of soil, save that which is very waterlogged or muddy.


Penstemon parryi seeds are often scattered along highways and medians, where they will take root even in poor, polluted soils, adding a splash of color in the spring to otherwise boring landscapes. These plants also thrive in rocky soil where other plants may not grow well and are often used in rock gardens for that reason. Its ability to attract hummingbirds and butterflies makes it a popular choice by home gardeners and landscapers for use as a border or specimen plant.

Keywords: penstemon parryi plant, about Parry's beardtongue, desert penstemon flower

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.