Penstemon barbatus, common name Scarlet Bugler, it a tall, upright penstemon species for the Tucson area, found in the mountains of the southwest at mid to higher elevations. The red flowers last all summer, and attract hummingbirds like crazy, making this a great choice for a hummingbird garden.
Ideal growing conditions include part shade, including underneath one of our desert trees such as the mesquite. Providing excellent drainage is essential, as penstemons tend to rot out if over-watered. If conditions are perfect, you might be delighted to find it reseeds itself, giving you lots of new plants for the price of one.
This is a smaller of the penstemon species, only reaching about a foot tall and wide. Planting among other native shrubs or among a grouping of rocks is a good way to hide its winter dormancy.
Reference: Mountain States Wholesale Nursery and Gregg Starr Nursery Plant Info Sheet, 1999.