Wildflowers, Continued — Penstemon
Over the next several days I will be showing images of wildflowers that are in bloom right now in in our local desert. I’ve said that this is a poor season for flowers due to our unusually warm and dry winter, but there are a few individual plants and their beauty is striking.
Today’s flower is the Penstemon. There are several species of this plant living in Arizona but I believe that this one is the species known as Parry’s Penstemon.
These plants are known for their hot pink flowers. They are spectacular: on a sunny day they stand out vividly from their background and one can see one of them from dozens of yards away.
Penstemon are perennials and are related to snapdragons. One finds them on open slopes and rocky hillsides. They seem to like disturbed ground. It’s not unusual to see them this time of year growing alongside roads and highways.
I found this plant growing in Sabino Canyon alongside one of the canyon’s paved roadways. It was on a slope, at least 100 meters from the canyon’s creek. As is very typical with these plants the Penstemon that I found was a lone individual. I found no others nearby.
Penstemon are highly regarded as ornamental plants and they are grown commercially. People plant them in their yards. They are not only beautiful but there’s a bonus that comes with these plants — they are hummingbird magnets! Put a few of these in your yard and the hummingbird traffic will be continuous.
Images made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite. All images shot at M setting. The first and second images shot at ISO 125, f14 @ 1/160. The third image shot at ISO 125, f13 @ 1/160.