Unsurprisingly, this scarlet penstemon or scarlet beardtongue which I photographed in UBC Botanical Garden a few years ago eventually succumbed to the Vancouver climate. A native of eastern Texas, southwestern Arkansas, southern Oklahoma and western Louisiana, it is a prairie or pine forest edge species of sandy soils–quite unlike any environment we’ve replicated at UBC.
Still, we try–the lure of such ornamental species sometimes means numerous attempts at growing plants that only have a faint hope of sustaining. When balanced by plantings of the “tried and true”, the overall efforts don’t seem quite as over-optimistic.
For readers in areas that can grow Penstemon murrayanus, there are a number of resources available to you:
- scarlet penstemon via the University of Arkansas’ Cooperative Extension Service, where some opinions about the nursery trade are shared
- frequent BPotD Contributor Eric Hunt’s short piece on Penstemon murrayanus for the Arkansas Native Plant Society
- Penstemon murrayanus, via Steve Schwartzman’s Portraits of Wildflowers
- the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s profile on Penstemon murrayanus (good additional photos)
On a BPotD topic to conclude, with the publication of this entry 1 out of every 8 entries is now verified and properly in the new format. Such a long hill to climb, but when the tags get fully assigned, I think I’ll be able to add some neat ways of exploring previous entries.