Hummer’s Delight

We can think of few plants better designed for hummingbirds than our clump of the native Penstemon cardinalis ssp. regalis that’s currently in flower in the JLBG crevice garden. Known as the Guadalupe Mountain beardtongue, it’s hails from the rocky, alkaline slopes (4,500′-6,000′ elevation) of southern New Mexico and adjacent West Texas, in juniper/pine scrubland. Without special habitat creation, this would be ungrowable in the Southeast US. While many penstemons we’ve tried have been short-lived, we’ve had this clump for more than five years in our crevice garden, and it shows no loss of vigor.

Penstemon cardinalis ssp. regalis

4 thoughts on “Hummer’s Delight”

  1. Charles Miller

    Crevice-loving Penstemon cardinalis ssp. regalis sounds like an opportunity to hybridize for longevity in well-known garden cultivars like Dark Towers and Blackbeard. Is there any work looking at this?

    1. Despite many attempts, these two groups of penstemons don’t seem to be capable of reproductive mating.

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