Penstemon Ice Cream   
Foto info
Penstemon Ice Cream
ntroduced Photo: Tabish
Common name: Penstemon Ice Cream
Botanical name: Penstemon 'Ice Cream Series'    Family: Scrophulariaceae (Dog flower family)

Penstemon is a large genus of perennial herbs from North America and East Asia. They have opposite leaves, partly tube-shaped, and two-lipped flowers and seed capsules. The most distinctive feature of the genus is the prominent staminode, an infertile stamen. The staminode takes a variety of forms in the different species; while typically a long straight filament extending to the mouth of the corolla, some are longer and extremely hairy, giving the general appearance of an open mouth with a fuzzy tongue protruding and inspiring the common name beard-tongue. The Ice Cream Series includes 11 exciting and colorful garden cultivars, all with unique, large, bell-shaped, bicolor flowers and strong, upright stems. These upright perennials have oblong to ovate, lance shaped, blue-green leaves. They grow up to 1.5 ft tall and spread to a foot in diameter. Different varieties in the Ice Cream series are Blueberry Fudge, Brambleberry, Bubble Gum, Juicy Grape, Melting Candy, Raspberry Pavlova, Raspberry Ripple, Strawberry Cream, Sweet Cherry, Vanilla Plum and Vanila. You are likely to find them in the hill stations of India in summers.

Photographed in Ooty, Tamil Nadu.
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