Monday, January 11, 2010

A great unknown

OK: I'm a lazy bum! So sue me! I still haven't downloaded my images from my recent trip to California and Las Vegas (and there were plenty of them). Colorado obliged by being sunny and warming up once we got home, and I had a cousin visiting and so on and so forth, etcetera, et al... amazing how we either have our excuses or our results!

But I still have some tricks from previous years up my sleve...Like this wonderful penstemon relative from high elevations in California's coastal mountains. Typical forms of Keckiella corymbosa can get a foot or two tall, but Ron Ratko has collected this miniature many times. Why is it so special?

Well, it's a perfect size for a rock garden (in other words, miniscule).

It blooms for weeks and months on end IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SUMMER (when rock gardens are often moribund). Best of all, it is a fine flashing red color that appeals to hummingbirds and us Westerners who love flashy things.

Only problem is that there is no commercial source any more since Ron doesn't seem to have recollected it and I know no nursery that sells it.

Nonetheless, this is one of the finest rock garden plants for sunny climates. Maybe we can coax some cuttings off our only plant this coming year?

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