Penstemon centranthifolius is a species of penstemon known by the common name scarlet bugler. It is native to California and parts of Mexico, where it grows in many types of dry habitat from coast to desert, such as chaparral and oak woodland.

Penstemon centranthifolius is a perennial herb with many straight, hairless, erect branches that may exceed one meter in maximum height. The thick, untoothed leaves may be up to 10 centimeters long and are arranged oppositely, with some pairs fused together about the stem.

The top of the stem is occupied by a long inflorescence bearing narrow tubular flowers with small projecting lobes at the lips, the longest flowers 3 centimeters long. The flowers are bright red to orange-red and hairless all over, including the staminode.

This species commonly hybridizes with showy penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis), a species with wide-mouthed purple-blue flowers, to produce a penstemon with pinkish-purple flowers which is intermediate in size and named Penstemon × parishii.

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