Penstemon barbatus

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Penstemon barbatus
Penstemon barbatus0.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms
Genus: Penstemon
Species: P. barbatus
Binomial name
Penstemon barbatus
(Cav.) Roth

Penstemon barbatus, known by the common names Golden-beard penstemon, Beardlip penstemon, and Scarlet bugler, is a flowering plant native to the western United States. In Spanish-speaking New Mexico and southern Colorado, it is called varita de San Jose -- "St. Joseph's staff." [1]

The plant has spikes of clustered, tubular, scarlet blossoms with yellow hairs on their lower lip; the flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds. It is commonly grown in Xeriscape and conventional gardens, and several cultivars of different colors have been developed.

The late-summer flowering of Penstemon barbatus coincides with the southern migration of the Rufous hummingbird, and the hummingbirds use the Scarlet buglers as "filling stations" for their long trip south. [1]


The Zuni people rub the chewed root of the torreyi subspecies over the rabbit stick to insure success in the hunt. [2]


  1. ^ a b Dodson & Dunmire, 2007, Mountain Wildfowers of the Southern Rockies, UNM Press, ISBN 978-0-8263-4244-7
  2. ^ Stevenson, Matilda Coxe 1915 Ethnobotany of the Zuni Indians. SI-BAE Annual Report #30 (p. 95)

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