This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
One of the handsomest species, growing two to four feet high. This variety is found on dry hill sides, blooms continually from May to October, - the dryer and more sterile the place the finer bloom; I have seen it in bloom where the ground was as hard and dry as a brick. The flowers are borne in long panicles, often two feet long, loosely many flowered; corolla nearly an inch and a half long, the short tube suddenly expanding into a wide ventricose throat. In color, the throat and tube are a rich purple, while the lobes are a clean blue.
Grows two to three feet high, makes a very branchy and well shaped plant. Flowers in loose, irregular panicles; corolla with an ample inflated throat, the upper and lower lips widely spreading. Color, a clear violet throughout.
Our most showy species, grows two to three feet high, panicles one to two feet long. Flower with a narrow tubular corolla over an inch long. Color, a bright scarlet red. Very dry grounds.
A fine variety, making well branched plants a foot high. Flowers with a gradually expanding tubular corolla three-quarters of an inch long. Color, from light to deep pink. Flowers in short panicles. Grows in high dry situations, where it blossoms finely.
A handsome variety, growing from one to three feet high. Corolla with a very short tube and wide open mouth, the upper lip of which is arched and lower recurved. Flowers borne on single peduncles, terminating leafy panicles. Color, pure yellow, for which it is remarkable. There is a very near species of the above known as Pentstemon breviflorus, reported with a flesh colored corolla streaked with pink. Height, shape of corolla, etc., not known.
A peculiar variety, scrambling over bush with long sarmentose branches, from three to four feet long. Flowers in leafy panicles, corolla with a long narrow tube an inch and a half long, the upper lip erect, and quite half an inch long. Color bright scarlet.
This is the most common species reported from Oregon and eastward of the Rocky Mountains, grows one to three feet high. Flowers in narrow panicles a foot long; corolla from three-quarters to an inch long, tube narrow, opening into an oblong funnel-form throat. Color blue to violet purple.
Grows from one-half to a foot high, flowers in compound panicles. Corolla half an inch long, funnel form, above the narrow tube. Color light violet blue.