Next up in the Countdown to Spring series is a member of the penstemon family called the Whipple Penstemon, also known as the Dusky Beardtongue.

The Dusky Beardtongue can be found in two different colors – a rich, deep purple and a cream color with just a hint of purple.

This plant was named after Lt. Amiel Whipple, an American engineer/surveyor who led an expedition in 1853-1854 in search of a transcontinental railroad route along the 35th parallel.

The following close-up of a Dusky Beardtongue shows where the “beardtongue” part of the name comes from.

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