PENSTEMON OF SOUTHEASTERN COLORADO
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The Penstemon of Southeastern Colorado is a complete guide to the Penstemon species of southeastern Colorado. The 286 page soft-cover volume contains over 250 pictures and diagrams. It includes a taxonomic key as well as species descriptions for each of the 27 native and 3 introduced species of Penstemon found in southeast Colorado with photos, text, and range maps. The taxonomic history for each species is given including the botanists who collected and named the plant as well as the area from which is was first collected (type locality) if known. Two of the native species, P. degeneri and P. versicolor, are endemic to southeast Colorado. The species included in this work represent about 40% of the Penstemon species that occur in the state.
We define southeastern Colorado as the area of the Arkansas River drainage, comprising about 24,900 sq. miles. This area includes the high mountain areas of Lake, Chaffee, and Teller Counties to the lower plains, mesas, and canyon areas associated with southeastern Colorado. To familiarize the reader with this environment, the opening chapters of the book are a concise overview of the physical geography, climate, and ecological life zones of this region of Colorado.
While the principal focus of the book is southeastern Colorado, it actually encompasses most of the Colorado Penstemon species found east of the Continental Divide, with the exception of North Park, a small area of northwest Weld Co., and northeast Larimer Co. where 3-6 additional Penstemon species barely enter Colorado near the Wyoming border. The Penstemon species found in eastern Kansas, the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles, and northeastern New Mexico are included.
Lastly, Panayoti Kelaidis has written a marvelous foreword expounding on the virtues and history of southeastern Colorado.