When Jenny at Rock Rose in Austin posted about spotting Penstemon cobaea in a patch of roadside wildflowers just over two years ago I made a note to try to find some for my garden. It took a while, but I did find them at the Native Plant Society of Texas plant sale here in San Antonio a few weeks ago.
A plant with my name on it, sort of. It's not actually a foxglove but Wild Foxglove is its common name and as close as we can get in our hot Texas climate unless we purchase Foxglove already in bloom as an annual. So I'll take it. Look at those bearded flowers! Almost like a fox could wear them as gloves.
Unlike the European Foxglove found at nurseries, this one is a Texas native and Showy Penstemon is one of its common names with good reason. The colors range from white to pink and these are quite brightly white with just a hint of pink.
According to the Wildflower Center Database Penstemon cobaea are minimally deer resistant so I have it safely planted behind the deer fence. Native to a wide range of the U.S. all the way from Nebraska to South Carolina and across the Gulf Coast to Central Texas where they enjoy our rocky, limestone soil. Listed as long blooming but short-lived perennials I hope they seed out and keep producing new ones. They attract moths, hummingbirds, and butterflies as pollinators. Penstemon cobaea hosts the Dotted Checkerspot butterfly.
This April 2014 Wildflower Wednesday begins my second year of wildflower posts and I'm not close to running out of native flowering plants to show you each month. To see more posts celebrating wildflowers in the garden check out Clay and Limestone. Gail is featuring a pretty combination of three flowering natives in her garden this month.
More about that Native Plant Society of Texas plant sale in a future post.