HOLDINGS>Historic Photographs>Edward Stuhl Wildflower Collection>Redwood Penstemon & Prairie Gentian
You can find this handsome plant growing out of rock faces in cool places in Upper Bidwell Park and in Butte Creek Canyon. As its name suggests, it is most common along the California coast. On Mount Shasta, Stuhl found it in forested, rocky areas below 5000 feet.
The pink-to-red flowers are over an inch long. Since the flowers are quite different from most Penstemons, this species, and others like it, have recently been separated out from Penstemon and given a new surname (botanists use the word "genus"): Keckiella. This honors Dr. David Keck, a noted California botanist. The 'species epithet," corymbosa means cluster and describes the mass of red flowers this plant displays.
(Gentiana affinis var. ovata)
This variety of widespread western species of Gentian can be found in southern Oregon, on Mount Shasta in meadows up to 8000 feet, and all the way down to the San Francisco Bay Area. The striking blue flowers are an inch or more long, and the cluster of stems can be two-feet tall. They curious forked "sinus appendages" located between the petal lobes give the flowers their distinctive and decorative appearance. Occasionally, rare white-flowered mutants can be found. Stuhl painted all his specimens in the field; this one might well have lived near the Sierra Club's Alpine Lodge in Horse Camp Meadow.
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Redwood Penstemon & Prairie Gentian
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Last updated: 05/06/02