Firecracker Penstemon bears tubular, bright scarlet flowers over dark green basal leaves. Prefers poor to moderately fertile, well drained soil and full sun. Great for dry desert-scapes. Pollinators: hummingbirds and bees. Firewise.
Shrubby Penstemon is an unusual woody, upright, evergreen penstemon with abundant lavender tubular flowers in early summer. Foliage turns soft yellow in autumn with purple-green flower spikelets. Leaves may burn in winter–shade helps. Firewise.
Dwarf Shrubby Penstemon is a compact version of the native Shrubby Penstemon and quite similar to Davidson’s Penstemon. Gorgeous lavender flowers in late spring. Evergreen mounds are beautiful in winter. Charming! Firewise.
One of the showiest of all North American native Penstemons, Penstemon grandiflorus can reach heights of three feet with stunning pink to purple flowers. The plant’s beautiful vertical structure and succulent gray-green foliage, make it a very unique Penstemon. Firewise. More information here.
Desert Penstemon can produce loads of shocking magenta flowers in summer. Native to southern Nevada and higher elevation sites in Arizona and New Mexico. Does well in heat and can tolerate partial shade.
Richardson’s is a wonderful and easy Penstemon for filling in spaces in the garden or tumbling down banks on trailing stems. Unlike most penstemons, this one starts blooming late, producing a charming profusion of rosy purple flowers that lasts from early summer nearly until frost. It re-seeds readily and multiplies in the garden. Firewise.
Syringa or Mock Orange is a deciduous shrub with lovely four petaled flowers, incredible fragrance. In the wild, Syringa grows in variety of habitats, from streambanks to lava flows. Can adjust to very low water sites. Idaho state flower. Firewise. More information here.
Charming, low-growing rock garden plant or small-scale groundcover. Finely cut evergreen foliage creeps across the ground, sprouting pincushion-like mauve flowers in late spring. Attractive seedhead tufts follow.
A stout, upright shrub or subtree growing to head-high or higher. Produces many pale yellow, wildrose-type flowers in the spring, each of which produces five feathery plumes with a seed attached. Related to bitterbrush.
Rock Soapwort is a vigorous, mounding plant, covered with small pink flowers in the spring. Beautiful for edging a sunny border or spilling over rock walls or the edges of large planters. To maintain a compact habit, prune plants back hard immediately after blooming. Firewise.
This native Checkermallow is a charming wildflower sporting dozens of small hollyhock-like blooms. Found in the wild in moist meadows, but it does well in moderately irrigated gardens. Supports native pollinators.
This widespread native is an excellent pollinator plant, as well as being extremely drought tolerant once established. Its only drawback is that it spreads by root and can be quite aggressive in a well-watered garden.