Yellow(?) Beardtongue, Penstemon confertus

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Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27
Yellow(?) Beardtongue, Penstemon confertus

Penstemon confertus is a plant of meadows and open woods here, according to Flora of Alberta. The common name always throws me, as the numerous plants in my yard, all are white-flowered! I can sometimes imagine a very faintly yellowish tone, but I find it puzzling that the above-mentioned reference refers to the corolla as "sulfur-yellow"... ? What am I missing? ???

It's a very good, long-lived plant here in our cool, dry conditions, though clearly not so flashy as some of the to-die-for blue-flowered penstemons. If one could fault it at all, it is only that the spent flowers turn brown amongst others still in full bloom, but having said that, it is definitely welcome in my garden.

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Skulski wrote:

Penstemon confertus is a plant of meadows and open woods here, according to Flora of Alberta.  The common name always throws me, as among the numerous plants in my yard, all are white-flowered!  I can sometimes imagine a very faintly yellowish tone, but I find it puzzling that the above-mentioned reference refers to the corolla as "sulfur-yellow"... ?  What am I missing?  ???

It's a very good, long-lived plant here in our cool, dry conditions, though clearly not so flashy as some of the to-die-for blue-flowered penstemons.  If one could fault it at all, it is only that the spent flowers turn brown amongst others still in full bloom, but having said that, it is definitely welcome in my garden.
 

Lori, I agree with the naming on this one, saw lots of P. confertus in Washington State and elsewhere, always a pleasant plant as you say, but never found a strong yellow one, it always seems to be more of a cream color.  Many years ago, I grew a range of the Bruce Meyer hybrids in which he used P. confertus, and some where fairly dwarf with nice yellow and peachy pink colors, I don't think these exist anymore.  Your large clump of confertus in your last photo in nonetheless an attractive plant.  In the first photo, what variety of Antennaria is that?  I've never seen one so dense with flowering stems, and nicely pink-hued to boot.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03

Definitely P. confertus. Much yellower and showier and nicer is P. flavescens in the high Idaho and Montana mountains around the Lolo: fabulous plant. Unfortunately, all my pix are 35 mm transparencies, so you'll just have to take it on faith!

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

For being, apparently, such a paragon of penstemon perfection ( :D), internet searches bring up surprisingly few photos of P. flavescens... Odd.  Here is one I found, though.

http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.php?object_id=521434

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Skulski wrote:

For being, apparently, such a paragon of penstemon perfection ( :D), internet searches bring up surprisingly few photos of P. flavescens... Odd.  Here is one I found, though.

http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.php?object_id=521434

Nice one!  Idaho has so many great plants, having been one of my favorite places to botanize (in person, not in an armchair).

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03

That's a sad picture of Penstemon flavescens: I should sca;n some of mine. I believe I took mine on St. Mary's peak--could have been in Montana. Although we saw it on the Lolo as well: both times I saw it was a long hike. I don't know of anywhere you can drive to it. Which may explain the paucity of pix, and the lack of germ plasm.

It is probably the yellowest true penstemon I know (some of the Keckiellas are yella I know)...

You can find yellow sports of most of the reds that are quite pure, and even Penstemon whippleanus verges on yellow on Mt. Evans (in the otherwise dirty, lemonade albino form).

Hybridizers should work on this hue for this group.

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Kelaidis wrote:

That's a sad picture of Penstemon flavescens: I should sca;n some of mine. I believe I took mine on St. Mary's peak--could have been in Montana. Although we saw it on the Lolo as well: both times I saw it was a long hike. I don't know of anywhere you can drive to it. Which may explain the paucity of pix, and the lack of germ plasm.

It is probably the yellowest true penstemon I know (some of the Keckiellas are yella I know)...

You can find yellow sports of most of the reds that are quite pure, and even Penstemon whippleanus verges on yellow on Mt. Evans (in the otherwise dirty, lemonade albino form).

Hybridizers should work on this hue for this group.

I'll take you up on that challenge if you can get me good strong yellow P. flavescens. 8)

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

McDonough wrote:

In the first photo, what variety of Antennaria is that?  I've never seen one so dense with flowering stems, and nicely pink-hued to boot.

Actually, I'm not too sure of its ID... Antennaria dioica or A. rosea?  I don't know the distinguishing characteristics, but I would like to figure it out.   The basal mat gets to about 1" tall, and the flower stalks are up to about 1' tall.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Skulski wrote:

Actually, I'm not too sure of its ID... Antennaria dioica or A. rosea?  I don't know the distinguishing characteristics, but I would like to figure it out.   The basal mat gets to about 1" tall, and the flower stalks are up to about 1' tall.

Lori, Isn't rosea just a form of dioica? Here A. dioica is very common in the wild and you can find all kinds of types. Some with red flowers (or bracts), some with very pubescent leaves and so forth. The type you find for sale is often something called A. dioica 'rosea' with a label showing a plant very similar to your plant, but what you find in the pot is inferior with less hair on the leaves.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

harold peachey
harold peachey's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-03-22

Yes, I grew this from NARGS seedex and was disappointed, thought I had a nice yellow Penstemon and here is what I got

Harold Peachey
USDA Z5, Onondaga, NY US

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I think the plant's only "flaw" is that it's been saddled with an oddly misleading common name, LOL!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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