Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Palmer's Penstemon

Palmer's penstemon, also known as Palmer's beardtongue (Penstemon palmeri) has several upright stems
growing up to six feet tall
with asymmetrical flowers with a yellow hairy tongue stocking out of each flower.
The broadly tubular flower blooms in late spring and early summer, is large-mouthed and has five lobes, two on the upper lip and three on the lower lip.
The petals are light pink with purple streaks.
The flowers are wonderfully bizarre and beautiful and larger than many desert flowers.
The leaves are blue-green, toothed and triangular in shape.
The upper leaf bases are joined together around the stem forming boat-like leaf pairs.
They are found from about 3,500 to 7,500 feet along washes, bajadas and slopes in lower mountains. They are fairly common along roadsides. In California, they are found in Inyo and San Bernardino Counties. They are also found in portions of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington. It is named after Edward Palmer, a self-taught British botanist and early American archaeologist. He led an expedition in 1891 exploring the flora and fauna of Death Valley.

1 comment:

  1. The blooms on these look like orchids. It's hard to believe they grow in the desert with very little water.