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Penstemon cardinalis ssp. cardinalis

Penstemon cardinalis ssp. cardinalis
scarlet penstemon; pride of the mountain
A few days before the flowers open, striking smooth red buds
Penstemon cardinalis ssp. cardinalis

Common name scarlet penstemon; pride of the mountain
Family plantaginaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z5-10)
Flowers red
Size 15-27"
Light sun
Cultural notes well-drained soil; drought-tolerant
From seed Provide a few months cold, then germinate at room temperature with exposure to light.
detailed seed-starting info below

Endemic to the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico, where it is found on mountainsides at elevations of 4500-6000 ft, associated with evergreen populations. Ruby-red flowers appear in pairs on one side of the upright stems, and are reportedly attractive to hummingbirds. Even the stems are a dark reddish color, while the evergreen rosette is composed of deep green leaves. Another one that may be difficult to keep alive around here, but so far I got a couple plants to live through a winter, enough to see the striking flowers.

scarlet penstemon; pride of the mountain
Seedlings are healthy, but non-descript

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Read about other penstemons in our garden

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Penstemon cardinalis ssp. cardinalis

Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from Alplains Jan '13 order. Baggy 35F (10w; 2%G, 9w) - 70F with light (65%G, 3-20d)
  2. Same seed as above, cold-stored. Baggy 35F (10w; 20%G, 7-10w) - 70F with light (22%G, 3-14d)

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