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Desert Beard-tongue

Penstemon pseudospectabilis

Inflorescence of Penstemon pseudospectabilis photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along Rackensack Canyon, n.e. Maricopa Co., Arizona. April 2009.

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FLOWERS: Impossibly pink tubular flowers with five rounded lobes. Four normal-looking stamens and one modified into a brush like apparatus set on the lower inside of the tube-throat. Blooming March and April.

Autumn leaves of Penstemon pseudospectabilis photo © by Michael Plagens PERENNIAL: Tall, herbaceous wands from a perennial root-stock. Some stems may approach 1½ m tall; mature plants may have a dozen or more stems from base. Popular in xeriscape gardens.

LEAVES: Leaves are opposite on the stems and those on the upper stems below the flowers are fused. The margins of the tough leaves are sharply toothed. Leaves and stems are glabrous. By late fall the whole plant takes on an odd pink color.

RANGE: Fairly common in the mid to upper elevations ( above 600 meters) of the Sonoran Desert high on wash banks or on rocky bajadas. Less frequent at lowest elevations.

FRUIT: Dry capsules with a many seeds.

UNARMED: Plant lacks thorns, however, teeth along margins of old, tough leaves are prickly.

Scrophulariaceae -- Figwort Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2011