penstemon ‘Claude Barr’

Now I remember what it was I wanted to say. See this thing right here?

Sold as Penstemon caespitosus ‘Claude Barr’. It’s a penstemon, but has nothing to do with caespitosus, or Claude Barr. Nothing at all.

I was going to quote, impressively of course, from Barrell’s Flora of the Gunnison Basin, but either I don’t own the book like I thought I did, or I do, and can’t find it. I am so organized. Barrell disagreed with Keck’s lumping of this species as Penstemon crandallii subsp. procumbens and considered it to be a species in its own right, P. procumbens, described as P. suffrutescens by Rydberg in September 1901 and by Greene in November of the same year as P. procumbens. I believe the name suffrutescens was already in use which is why procumbens gets the nod. It’s P. procumbens, type locality is Kebler Pass west of Crested Butte, where it drapes itself over rocks, etc.

What I think happened was that Barr sold both Penstemon caespitosus and P. procumbens, and someone got the labels mixed up, even though the plants look nothing alike. Well, they both have leaves, anyway. P. caespitosus is a low mat with tiny almost linear leaves, and the plant in the picture isn’t.

What would Barr think of all this?

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