Penstemon cardwellii?

Submitted by Broekhuis on Fri, 05/21/2010 - 21:05

I grew "penstemon cardwellii" from seed of last year's exchange. The resulting plants are blooming beautifully now - but I don't think they are the correct species, at least judging from the description at the APS site and several photos (including one in the gallery here). Any idea what I have on my hands? I have close-up photos of the flowers, if that would help with ID.


Submitted by Lori S. on Fri, 05/21/2010 - 23:19

Yes, it is definitely not P. cardwellii
It looks to me like P. hirsutus, from the pinched mouths on the flowers, and the lanceolate, slightly toothed leaves, and overall habit.  If so, it is strange - I've gotten P. hirsutus myself a couple of times in seedexes, labelled as some other penstemon species.
Yes, close up photos of the flowers, leaves and base of the plant would be helpful towards a positive ID.

Submitted by Broekhuis on Sat, 05/22/2010 - 05:23

And it marks the second time I've tried to grow P. cardwellii and got something else (the first time it was P. canescens). I'll try to snap a photo of leaves today, for now a closer-up view of the flowers:

Submitted by Broekhuis on Sat, 05/22/2010 - 06:10

and for good measure, photos of the base and stem leaves:

Submitted by Mark McD on Sat, 05/22/2010 - 07:58

Hello Rob,  looks like Penstemon hirsutus to me as well, most definitely so.  Mine are all popping into bloom now, I really like the various color forms of these easy but lovely penstemons, from pure white (only have a couple of those) to decidely pink ones, the more common lavender color, and some (like yours) have a welcome blue cast.  The true cardwellii will be a woody shrub growing wider than tall, a member of the Dasanthera section of Penstemon.

Good diagnostic photos by the way :-)

Submitted by Broekhuis on Sat, 05/22/2010 - 21:08

Thank you both for helping me identify this one. I'm happy to have it, regardless of its name!