Southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert is famed for its sudden explosion of colorful wildflowers that follows the first springtime rains. From a distance, I saw bright splashes of pink from across the arid hills, and as I got closer, I found this Parry’s penstemon in all their fuchsia glory. It never fails to amaze me how such seemingly delicate plants can survive in such harsh environments.
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A favorite food source for hummingbirds in the Sonoran Desert, Parry’s penstemon (also known as Parry’s beardtongue) is a vibrantly pink to fuchsia hardy wildflower found natively in Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico. These tough plants can stand the heat of the desert and the heavy spring rainfalls typical of our southwestern deserts and are only bested by prolonged drought. These were among about a dozen beautiful tall blooming examples found growing in the hills of rural Santa Cruz County in southern Arizona.
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