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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.