Scarlet Bugler

Penstemon centranthifolius

Penstemon centranthifolius

Color: Red

Common name: Scarlet Bugler

Latin name: Penstemon centranthifolius


Height: 12-47 inches

Description: Penstemon centranthifolius is a perennial herb with many straight, hairless, erect branches which may exceed one meter in maximum height. The top of the stem is occupied by a long inflorescence bearing narrow tubular flowers with small projecting lobes at the lips, the longest flowers 3 centimeters long. The flowers are bright red to orange-red and hairless all over, including the sterile stamen.

Leaf: The thick, untoothed leaves may be up to 10 cm long and are arranged oppositely, with some pairs fused together about the stem.

Range: sw edge Mojave Desert, North Coast Ranges, n Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley (margins), Central Western California, Southwestern California,

Habitat: Dry, open or wooded places, generally in chaparral or oak woodland

Elevation: < 1800 m.

Flowering time: Apr–Jun

Notes: This species commonly hybridizes with Showy penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis), a species with wide-mouthed purple-blue flowers, to produce a penstemon with pinkish-purple flowers which is intermediate in size named Penstemon parishii. P. centranthifolius is a dicot that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. Distribution outside California: Mexico. This photo was taken on April 11, 2004.

We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.

Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.

Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...

What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports


Share this page on Facebook:

DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)

The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms


Past Wildflower Season Videos
click on links below

2009 Wildflower Video

2006 Wildflower Season -
Click here to play.

2005 Wildflower Season -
Click here
to play

Mojave Desert Wildflowers Book
200 color photos

Wildflower Field Guide - find flowers by color

Purple & Blue Flowers

Pink, Red, & Orange Flowers

Yellow & Gold Flowers

White Flowers | Guide

wildflower seeds

Hot temperatures in the desertAre you interested in the temperatures in the desert?

Click here to see current desert temperatures!

DesertUSA is a comprehensive resource about the North American deserts and Southwest destinations. Learn about desert biomes while you discover how desert plants and animals learn to adapt to the harsh desert environment. Find travel information about national parks, state parks, BLM land, and Southwest cities and towns located in or near the desert regions of the United States. Access maps and information about the Sonoran Desert, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, and Chihuahuan Desert.

Copyright © 1996-2020 and Digital West Media, Inc. - -