Penstemon ID 2013

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Longma
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Joined: 2012-11-19
Penstemon ID 2013

I'm hoping someone can ID this Penstemon sp. for me. It only grows a few inches high and spreads to 18 inches across. I'm unsure which diagnostic features are important in Penstemon, so can show more detail if it will help.

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

Ron, you'll have to show us photos again when the flowers open, the level of hairs (beard) within the flowers can be diagnostic with species, as is anther shape and disposition.  Intense color, looks great so far.  Most certainly a dasanthera penstemon, so the range of species is not huge, but we must also consider hybridization (they hybridize readily).  Could be a P. newberryi form or hybrid.

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

Longma
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I will do Mark, thank you for the information. We're forecast thick fog all day tomorrow, and overcast and cool the rest of the week, so when they'll open I don't know. If not I'll dissect a flower or two and check out those features, and post some pics.

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

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

Ron, what is the source of your plant?

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

Longma
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A local nursery was closing down and for a few days work helping clear up, I could have my pick of the remaining old stock. This was one I picked up. Along with a lot of the other plants from the same deal, there was no label. It was a dedicated 'alpine' plant nursery and so I'm thinking this plant is more than likely a species.

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

Longma
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A break in the fog and some sun, saw a few flowers open today. This is possibly the best pictures I'll be able to get.

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

Longma
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Joined: 2012-11-19

Thanks for all the pointers and advice Mark.  8)

After taking these pictures, and opening up the flowers to inspect hairs, stamens etc. and wading through myriad websites I am pretty much convinced that the plant I have is Penstemon newberryi. This is an incredible coincidence as it grows in the same areas where many of my favourite plants come from!! :o This is one of the sites whose description convinced me -

http://www.pnwflowers.com/flower/penstemon-newberryi

Result  ;D

53.69° N, Dedicated to West Coast Fritillaria, plus three other members of the subgenus Liliorhiza. I grow other Genera, as time permits !

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

I'm with you on the P. newberryi ID; first of all, there are few woody species of this intense flower color, and now seeing the golden hairy anthers it seems fairly positive that's what it is.  And what a glorious penstemon it is.

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

deesen
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Joined: 2011-01-31

Penstemon virens from the garden today (and a very difficult plant for the camera {photographer!} )

David Nicholson in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

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

David, I'm sorry to say, your penstemon is not P. virens; most likely what you have is Penstemon davidsonii (and probably var. menziesii), or a hybrid of that species.  Penstemon virens has true blue flowers in an upright spike, with flowers arranged in whorls in a series of closely spaced verticillasters (think Phlomis-arrangement).  But P. davidsonii and its var. menziesii are excellent "pents" for the rock garden.

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

deesen
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Joined: 2011-01-31

Thanks Mark. It's one of those increasing times where memory plays tricks. I had Penstemon virens that bloomed very well for me in 2011 but I have no record of it in 2012. I vaguely remember that it didn't reappear and I must have obtained P. davidsonii and planted it in the same spot in my rock bed.

Probably not the correct place to say this but I had my profile set to receive email notification of all posts but am currently not receiving any for NARGS posts at all and don't remember amending my profile. Any advice welcome.

David Nicholson in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

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