Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Unknown Penstemon

In the summer of 2007 I was looking at the wild flowers along the Cal Valley. There are five different penstemons along that road. Penstemon humulis, eatonii, tidestromi, comarrhenus, and one unknown. I collected seed from a penstemon that I didn't know. They were planted in the late fall of the same year. I plant my seeds in a 1020 germination tray in the early winter of each year. They are placed in a cold frame for the winter. the doors are screened to keep the birds out. I have to water them once a week during the winter. Then I have to blow the water out of the lines to keep them from freezing. I didn't notice any germination of the unknown penstemon last spring and summer. I was looking at last year's trays and discovered that the unknown penstemon was germinating, and there were five plants from last year that were growing quite large. There were numerous seedlings that had emerged this spring. I transplanted the five into gallon pots and put the tray back on the bench to wait for more transplanting. When the five bloom this spring, I will be able to identify them. I think that they are humulis, but we will see. The picture is of the repotted penstemon. It is suffering a little from the stress of transplanting. I will be showing its progress with a weekly picture.

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