The penstemon species known as Coral Penstemon, Penstemon superbus, is a native to Arizona, and also found in New Mexico and northern Mexico in rocky canyons and washes. This is a great addition to your Green Valley and Tucson desert landscaping, but make sure you give it lots of room, as this is the largest of the species, and can reach nearly 6 feet tall!
Since this is such a tall plant, you can hide it behind shorter perennials or shrubs, allowing it to peek up behind other plants when in bloom. As the name implies, the Coral Penstemon has bright, vivid coral flowers. This plant blooms in the spring. It attracts hummingbirds. The leaves are also attractive, as they are often tinged in purple.
Suggested companion plants include Chrysactinia or the small version of Texas Ranger, Leucophyllum zygophyllum ‘Cimarron’. Penstemons also look great next to cactus and succulents. Try planting with agaves, ocotillo or prickly pear for a truly spectacular desert plant theme.
Reference: Mountain States Wholesale Nursery and Gregg Starr Nursery Plant Info Sheet, 1999.