About the Penstemon Parryi Plant

Overview

Penstemon parryi is a wildflower that originates in northern Mexico and southern Arizona. The desert plant is also commonly known as desert penstemon and Parry's beardtongue. Penstemon parryi is part of the Scrophulariaceae family, and is either a herbaceous perennial or a low, evergreen shrub. It blooms during March and April.

Characteristics

Penstemon parryi generally grows to between 3 and 4 feet high. The plant produces funnel-shaped flowers that have round and short lobes, with hairy, glandular corollas approximately 3/4 inch long. The flowers consist of five stamens and are red or pink. The lanceolate foliage ranges from bluish-green to blue, and is between 2 and 5 inches long. The stalks are about 3 feet long.

Cultivation

Penstemon parryi flourishes when it is cultivated under full sun, although it will grow in partial shade. The plant requires regular watering and moist soil, but should not be over-watered. Penstemon parryi is tolerant of drought but can be damaged by consecutive years of drought. The plants require soil that is both well-drained and fertile.

Problems

Some diseases affect Penstemon parryi include leaf spot, rust, southern blight and powdery mildew. The plant also could be infested by insects, such as snails and slugs, particularly on younger plants.

Naming

Penstemon parryi is named after English-American mountaineer and botanist Charles Christopher Parry. During the mid-1800s, Parry worked as a surgeon on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey.

Geography

Penstemon parryi originates in southern Arizona and northern Mexico (around Sonora), particularly in areas that have lower elevation, generally between 1,500 and 5,000 feet. It commonly appears in canyons, along washes and on desert slopes. In the wild, the plant is sometimes spotted in masses, but is generally seen alone or in pairs.

Keywords: Penstemon parryi plant, Parry's beardtongue, parry's penstemon

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.