The Texas Rose, or Penstemon wrightii is a large species of penstemon for desert landscapes, and suitable for both Tucson and Green Valley as it is cold hardy down to zero degrees.
This is a must-have penstemon for hummingbird and perennial gardens, since the coral-colored flowers are a nice addition to any garden filled with yellows and purples. The Texas Rose can take full sun, but must have good drainage. It will reseed itself when conditions are favorable, so you can share extra plants with friends and neighbors.
Planting penstemons among other shrubs, cactus and succulents will make your desert landscaping extra special come spring, and will hide its dormant period. While there are always leaves on penstemons when dormant, they are not much to look at when not blooming.
Plants to use with penstemons include ground covers such as lantana and Dalea capitata, and prickly pear species.
Reference: Mountain States Wholesale Nursery and Gregg Starr Nursery Plant Info Sheet, 1999.