Pronounciation: Pen-STE-mon PAR-ree-i
Sunset 12 and 13
USDA 9-11 (arid regions only)
Landscape Use: Winter color, accent, landscape border, rock gardens, desert gardens.
Form & Character: Rosetting and upright, stiff and rigid, small but visually demanding.
Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial, clumping with upright flower spikes, 3 to 4 feet tall.
Foliage/texture: Grayish to glaucous green, glabrous, lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong leaves to 5 inches long, clasping, with or without petiole; medium texture.
Flowers & fruits: Flowers in spikes, corolla to 3/4 inch long, rose-magenta, abruptly inflated, staminode included, yellow bearded, fruit small oblong-rounded.
Seasonal color: Parry's penstemon bears striking spikes of rose-magenta flowers during February and March in Phoenix.
Temperature: Parry's penstemon actively grows only during cooler time of year in lower desert climates.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained soils or else cultivate on the dry side.
Watering: Water only during cooler times of year when actively growing, the frequency of which is dependent on presence or absense of winter rain.
Pruning: None, except to remove spent flower spikes (unless harvesting seed).
Disease and pests: Root rot only if soil poorly drained.
Additional comments: Parry's penstemon is a wonderful spectacular accent plant for winter and spring desert or native plant gardens. Like P. palmeri, its foliage is more glaucous than that of P. eatoni. It will reseed sometimes in landscape settings, which in my opinion is an attribute. There are over 250 species in the genus Penstemon.