Regularity: Regularly occurring
Global Range: UT, AZ, NM, TX, and Mexico.
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
Penstemon barbatus, known by the common names Golden-beard penstemon, Beardlip penstemon, and Scarlet bugler, is a flowering plant native to the western United States. In Spanish-speaking New Mexico and southern Colorado, it is called varita de San Jose -- "St. Joseph's staff." 
The plant has spikes of clustered, tubular, scarlet blossoms with yellow hairs on their lower lip; the flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds. It is commonly grown in Xeriscape and conventional gardens, and several cultivars of different colors have been developed.
The late-summer flowering of Penstemon barbatus coincides with the southern migration of the Rufous hummingbird, and the hummingbirds use the Scarlet buglers as "filling stations" for their long trip south. 
- Dodson & Dunmire, 2007, Mountain Wildfowers of the Southern Rockies, UNM Press, ISBN 978-0-8263-4244-7
- Stevenson, Matilda Coxe 1915 Ethnobotany of the Zuni Indians. SI-BAE Annual Report #30 (p. 95)
To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!