Plant Species of San Jacinto Mountain: Penstemon californicus, California penstemon

This page is currently just a place-holder for pictures of this species taken on 1 November 2008, from a location along the Pacific Crest Trail within a mile or its junction with the Cedar Spring Trail. (The location is intentionally vague since this is a rare species.)

For beautiful pictures of these plants in flower, see Jordan Zylstra's pictures at Calphotos.

When not in flower, this plant resembles Wright's buckwheat, Eriogonum wrightii var. membranaceum in overall habit, looking like a specimen of Wright's buckwheat without any blooms:

Close inspection shows a big difference in the inflorescence and in the leaves. The inflorescence of Wright's buckwheat is much longer, with more space between individual flowers. The leaves of California penstemon are opposite, whereas the leaves of Wright's buckwheat are alternate.

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Copyright © 2008 by Tom Chester.
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Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 3 November 2008.