By Robert Nold
With a few 270 species, Penstemon is the most important genus endemic to North the USA, with examples to be present in each kingdom within the continental U.S. Penstemons are fairly liked through rock gardeners, yet as Panayoti Kelaidis issues out in his foreword, they belong in each backyard, due to the fact that "one penstemon or one other will thrive in almost any microclimate a backyard can contrive, from sizzling, barren region exposures to dank shade."
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Additional resources for Penstemons
Hirsutus, with its closed corolla, to remain in the genus rather than being attached to Chelone, and they allow species whose characteristics do not quite seem to match those of Penstemon to be segregated into different, sometimes newly created genera. When new research, such Page 19 as DNA and protein analysis, is applied to penstemons the genus may be rearranged in some strange new way, but the preceding view seems the clearest one, for now. For those who are concerned about such things, the chromosome number of Penstemon is n=8; this has some relevance when discussing, as in Chapter 8, "Related Genera," the segregation of several species into new genera.
W. A. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Nold, Robert. Penstemons / Robert Nold. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. Title. 9'3395dc21 98-51574 CIP Page 5 Contents Foreword by Panayoti Kelaidis 7 Preface 11 Acknowledgments 15 Chapter 1. An Overview of Penstemon 17 Chapter 2. Cultivation 20 Chapter 3. Morphology and Pollination 38 Chapter 4. Habitat and Distribution 50 Chapter 5. Nomenclature 58 Chapter 6. Divisions of the Genus 64 Chapter 7. Species Descriptions 93 Chapter 8.
Where there is soil, rather than pure sand or gravel, penstemons tend to seek sloping land, insuring adequate drainage from occasional periods of flooding. Penstemons that grow in sand, such as Penstemon haydenii, seek moisture with their deep roots, probing beneath the sand to actual soil, sometimes at considerable depth. Page 24 Dry-climate gardening, if it is to be successful, must not attempt to compensate for "inferior" conditions, such as lack of rainfall, poor soils, excessive wind, and too much sun.