AZ Arboretums

Penstemon parryi

Desert zinnia

Common:  Parry's penstemon, Parry's Beardtongue
Family:   Scrophulariaceae
Origin/Range: Southern Arizona and Sonora Mexico; elevations of 1500-5000ft
Light:  Full sun best, OK in filtered shade
Hardiness to single digits
Water:  Natural rainfall; regular irrigations in summer will enhance next year's bloom
Soil: Adaptable, requires good drainage; also appreciates amended soil

Low shrub, or herbaceous perennial. Usually evergreen.

Leaves are blueish-green, thick and soft, lanceolate, apex is wider than basil portion, midribs and lower stems are sometimes purplish. Flowers are distinctive, showy spikes 1 to 3ft tall with funnel-shaped 3/4in long flowers; many shades of red and pink; bloom February to April. Flowers are tubular with a hairy, lower "mouth". The flowers have two upper lobes and three, forward-projecting lower lobes. The bluish green leaves are smooth, narrow, and opposite.

This native plant attracts hummingbirds.