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.
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