Pretty in Pink Penstemons
When I moved to Central Oregon from the East Coast, I was worried that I would miss all of the amazing wildflowers there. To my surprise, the high desert possesses just as much wildflower beauty! Even more impressive, these plants prosper with little water but are every bit as vibrant and spectacular as their Eastern cousins.
We have lots of wildflowers in the early spring here at The Cove, like Balsamroot, Lupine, and Daisies. Once the real heat of mid-to-late summer sets in though, it’s a little harder for things to blossom. Some pioneers survive, though, like the spectacular Rabbitbrush you may have spotted a couple posts ago about the Tam A Lau trail.
I got a special surprise last week when I took another trip up the Tam A Lau – a beautiful penstemon in full bloom! I read in one source that this one is called a “rock penstemon,” but the trouble with common names is that they sometimes refer to several different species depending on where you live. If you type “rock penstemon” into Google, you will get lots of different results. Especially with penstemons – there are more than 80 species in the Pacific Northwest alone!
I narrowed it down to what I believe it is: Penstemon rupicola, also known as rock penstemon, or cliff beardtongue.
Here’s a photo from Wikipedia, since I, er, forgot my camera that day. (Doh!) Pretty cool, huh?
Posted on August 5, 2013, in Plants and tagged cove palisades state park, exploration, native flowers, native plants, natural history, nature, oregon, outdoors, pacific northwest, parks, penstemons, pink, recreation, state park, wildflowers. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.