Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Beard's Tongue

Penstemon

All prefer full sun on well drained soil ( most do NOT like clay ) with either stone mulch or no mulch at all. Most species should not be fertilized too heavily since too much can shorten the life of the plant. It is important to NOT plant too deep as this can smother the crown. Only a few species of Penstemons native to the eastern U.S. are tolerant of hot humid summers, the remainder preferring climates such as the Great Plains and Rockies with dry heat and cool summer nights. Most Penstemons are very drought tolerant. It is recommended to cut back plants in very early spring before new growth begins. Be careful not to cut too far back on shrubby or evergreen varieties. Some species will rebloom if old flowerstalks are removed.
Many Penstemons can be pinched during late spring when they are a foot tall to encourage a more bushy habit.
All Penstemons also attract hummingbirds and are mostly rabbit and deer resistant.
Propagation is usually from division or softwood cuttings taken during spring. When growing from seed, place seed in containers with very light, well drained soil mix then sprinkle barely enough sand on top to cover them. Set outside in protected location and let natural freeze/thaw occur over winter to break dormancy. Keep the soil mix just damp over the winter...too much moisture will rot the seeds.

Excellent external link on Penstemons... http://www.wildgingerfarm.com/Penstemon.htm

* photo of unknown internet source


Penstemon alamosensis ( Alamo Canyon Beardtongue )
A perennial, reaching up to 3 x 1 feet, that is a rare native to the southwestern U.S.
The gray foliage is borne from dense, compact rosettes.
The bright orangish-coral flowers are borne on tall spikes.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun on alkaline, light, very well drained soil. Very drought tolerant.

Penstemon albertinus
A perennial, reaching up to 16 inches in height, that is native to Alberta, Canada.
Its main attraction is spires of deep blue flowers.
Hardy zones 3 ot 6 in partial shade.

Penstemon alluviorum
Closely related and similar to Penstemon digitalis, reaching up to 5 feet in height, it is native to marshlands in the Mississippi Valley from Missouri to southern Illinois and south to Arkansas to Mississippi.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun on moist to wet fertile soil.

Penstemon alpinus
A clump-forming perennial, reaching up to 2.5 feet x 8+ inches ( usually under 1.5 feet ), that is native to the Rocky Mountains.
The broad leaves are up to 4 inches in length.
The violet-red to blue ( with white throat ) flowers are borne during early summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade.

Penstemon angustifolius ( Pagoda Penstemon )
An evergreen perennial, reaching up to 1 foot in height, bearing bright blue flowers all summer long.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun on well drained soil. Great for containers.

Penstemon baccharifolius
An evergreen, shrubby perennial, reaching up to 2 x 3 feet, that is native to southwestern Texas and adjacent parts of Mexico.
The leathery leaves are up to 2 inches in length.
The rose-red flowers, up to 1.3 inches in length, are borne during spring and summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun on very well drained soil. Tolerant of drought and alkaline soil.

Penstemon barbatus ( Coral Penstemon )
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 6 x 4 ( rarely over 4 ) feet, that is native to mountain woodlands in Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
The narrow, lance-shaped, leathery, glossy mid-green leaves, up to 8 inches in length forms a low, evergreen mound.
The rose-red, bearded-lipped, trumpet-shaped flowers, up to 1.6 inches in length, are borne on spikes from mid spring to early summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil, heat tolerant and moderately drought tolerant.

'Blue Riding Hood'

* photo taken on June 10 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Coccineus'
Similar to species except for intense scarlet-red flowers.
Hardy zones 2 to 9, tolerating as low as -50 F.

Elfin Pink'
Reaches up to 3 x 1.5 ( rarely over 1 ) feet, with attractive evergreen foliage and mid-pink flowers borne on dense long spikes.

'Hyacinth Mix'
Very hardy, compact, seed strain, reaching up to 1 foot, with flowers that can come in either pink, scarlet-red or blue.

'Praecox Nanus Rondo'
Reaches up to 1.5 x 3 feet, with scarlet-red, bell-shaped flowers borne early summer into early autumn.

* photos taken on June 16 2012 in Columbia, MD

'Pinacolada Dark Rose'
Compact in habit, reaching up to 8 inches x 1 foot. The profuse bright rosy-pink flowers are borne during early summer.

* photo taken on June 17 2012 in Columbia, MD


'Pinacolada Violet'
Dense and compact in habit, reaching up to 1 x 1.5 feet. The profuse violet-blue flowers are borne on panicles during early to mid summer, often repeat blooming into early autumn if deadheaded.

* photos taken on June 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

'Prairie Dusk'
Intense purple flowers borne all summer long on sturdy stems, up to 2 feet high. Looks great with yellow flowering plants.

'Red Riding Hood'
A cultivar originating from the Netherlands, reaching up to 32 inches x 2 feet. The profuse, very large, white-lipped, intense bright-red flowers are borne late spring and all summer long. Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun. It is drought tolerant but also tolerates more humid conditions in the eastern U.S.

* photos taken on May 2012 in Columbia, MD


'Rondo'

* photos taken on June 10 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Schooley's Coral'
Vigorous in habit, reaching up to 1.5 feet x 15 inches, with flowers that are yellow in bud, turning to pink, then finally to coral-pink when fully open.
The very profuse flowers are borne over a long season.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

Penstemon caespidata ( Mat Penstemon )
Hardy zones 4 to 9

'Claude Barr'
A mat-forming perennial, reaching up to 6 inches high, with bright purple flowers.

Penstemon campanulatus ( Harebell Penstemon )
A perennial, reaching up to 2 x 1 foot, that is native to the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala.
The toothed, lance-shaped leaves are up to 3 inches in length.
The deep pink to purple flowers are borne late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 9 to 10 in full sun to partial shade.

Penstemon canescens ( Eastern Gray Beardtongue )
A perennial, reaching up to 3 x 2 feet, that is native to dry woods in eastern North America ( from Ontario to Pennsylvania; south to Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina ).
The saw-toothed, broad lance-shaped leaves, up to 6 inches in length, form a basal rosette. The foliage is deep green.
The pale-pink flowers, up to 2 inches, are borne on open panicles during late spring into early summer.
The downy stems are ashy-gray.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on light, well drained soil.
Propagation is typically from division during autumn or early spring.

* photo taken on May 16 2011 in Washington, D.C.


Penstemon cardinalis ( Cardinal Penstemon )
A moderate growing, upright perennial, reaching up to 2.5 x 2 feet, that is a rare native to Pinyon-Juniper woodlands in the mountains of central New Mexico and far western Texas.
The elliptical leaves are up to 5 inches in length.
The intense scarlet-red flowers, up to 1.3 inches long, are borne on spikes during early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun on moist, well drained soil. It is very heat tolerant and can also tolerate the occasional drought once established.

Penstemon clutei
A perennial, reaching up to 2 x 1.5 feet, that is native to the vincinity of Sunset Crater in Arizona.
The finely-toothed leaves are blue-green.
The flowers, up to 0.5 inches wide, are deep pink.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 in full sun on very well drained soils. It will not survive in the humid east.

Penstemon cobaea 'Purpurea' ( Foxglove Penstemon )
A rare, spectacular perennial, reaching up to 2.5 x 1.5 feet, that is native to southern Missouri in the Ozarks. Short lived, often lasting only 4 years.
The large, glossy deep-green leaves form rosettes.
The large, lavender-purple flowers are borne on spikes during early summer lasting up to a month.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun on well drained soil. Easy to grow, tolerant of drought and poor soil. It is also tolerant of moist humid conditions in the eastern U.S.

Penstemon confertus
A perennial, reaching up to 2 x 1 feet, with lance-shaped leaves up to 2 inches in length and yellow flowers, up to 0.8 inches in length during summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

Penstemon cristatus
A bushy perennial, reaching a maximum size of 16 inches x 1 foot.
The leaves are oval. The red-purple flowers are borne during summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( not in the humid eastern U.S. )

Penstemon cyananthus ( Wasatch Penstemon )
A perennial, reaching up to 3 feet in height, that is native from Idaho to Wyoming; south to Utah.
The bright blue flowers are borne during late spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 9

Penstemon davidsonii
A mat-forming, shrubby perennial, reaching up to 6 inches x 2 feet, is native to the western U.S.
The elliptical leaves, up to 0.8 inches in length, are gray-green. The rich pink to deep-red flowers are borne on short inflorescences during early summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( not in the humid eastern U.S. ) in full sun to partial shade.

Penstemon digitalis ( Foxglove Beardtongue )
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 3 ( rarely over 3 ) feet, that is native to damp woods of eastern North America, from Michigan to Maine, south to Texas to Alabama.
The toothed, lance-shaped, evergreen, basal leaves, up to 8 inches in length, are blue-green.
The nodding, white to very pale purplish-pink, tubular flowers, up to 1 inch wide, are borne on narrow spikes during late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 in full sun to partial shade. Very easy to grow, it thrives in just about any soil, including clay, that isn't extremely dry or boggy ( though it can tolerate temporary flooding ). Deer resistant.

* photo taken on May 16 2011 in Washington, D.C.


* photo taken on Sep 14 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 1 2014 @ Maryland Horticulturalist Society garden tour, Ellicott City


'Dark Towers'
A very attractive, fast growing perennial, reaching up to 3 x 4 feet. This hybrid was developed by the University of Nebraska.
The foliage resembles that of P. digitalis 'Huskers Red' but is very glossy and very deep purplish-red, holding its color all summer long. This perennial combines especially well with the white Shasta Daisies.
The lavender-pink flowers, up to 1.5 inches across, are borne during mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8.

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Husker Red'
Similar except with deep red, later turning bronze-purple foliage contrasting well with white to very pale-pink flowers during early to mid summer.
The stems are also deep purple.
Great for mass plantings.
Many nurseries sell plants that do not have good color, these have often been grown from seed rather than cuttings.

* photo taken on May 16 2011 in Washington, D.C.



* photo of unknown internet source

* photo takens on Mar 7 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Precious Gem'
Reaches up to 3 feet, with attractive bronze foliage that contrasts well with pink flowers borne on showy spikes during early to mid summer.

'Rachel's Dance'
Reaches up to 20 inches, with bright purplish-red leaves borne on deep red-brown stems. The foliage retains its color all season and contrasts well with the white to very pale pink flowers.

Penstemon eatonii ( Firecracker Penstemon )
An evergreen perennial, reaching up to 4.3 ( rarely over 3 ) feet in height, that is native to the southwest U.S. incl. California.
The leaves are large and leathery.
The flowers are scarlet-red and are great for attracting hummingbirds.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

Penstemon fruticosus ( Shrubby Penstemon )
A shrubby perennial, reaching a maximum size of 4 feet x 20 inches, that is native to British Columbia's arid interior; south to Oregon to Wyoming.
The leathery, evergreen foliage forms a bushy low mound. When mass planted, it can make a great groundcover.
The smooth-edged to lightly toothed, lance-shaped leaves, up to 2 inches in length, are green, turning to bronze during winter.
The very profuse, lavender-purple flowers, up to 1.6 inches, are borne during late spring into early summer. The flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 on very well drained soil. Very tolerant of drought, it does not like heavy, wet clay or over frequent irrigation.

* photo taken by Loren St. John @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


'Catherine de la Mare'
lilac-blue flowers.

'Purple Haze'
Reaches up to 1.5 x 2 feet, with spectacular lilac-purple flowers.
Great for edging, rock gardens and cascading over landscape walls.

Penstemon glaber ( Sawsepal Penstemon )
A very attractive, clumping perennial, reaching up to 2 feet in height, that is native to prairies in the North American Great Plains ( from central Montana to south-central North Dakota; south to northern New Mexico to western Nebraska.
The oblanceolate leaves, up to 4 inches in length, are deep green.
The deep blue flowers are up to 1.2 inches in length.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 in full sun on sandy or stony, well drained soil. It is very tolerant of limestone and alkaline soils.

Penstemon gracilis
A long lived perennial, reaching up to 2 x 1.5 feet, that is native to North America, from British Columbia to Ontario, south to New Mexico to Wisconsin.
The leaves are up to 4.5 inches in length.
The white to soft lilac ( with yellow beard ), bell-shaped flowers are borne on thin stems from mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade.

Penstemon grandiflorus ( Shell-Leaf Penstemon )
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 4 feet x 20 inches, that is native to central North America ( from Wyoming to North Dakota to Illinois; south to Texas ). It is endangered in the wild.
The attractive, leathery, rounded leaves, up to 4 inches in length, are blue-green.
The lavender flowers, up to 2 inches, are borne late spring.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun. Tolerant of heat and drought.
Propagation is easy from seed and it often self sows.

'Prairie Snow'
Profuse white flowers.

Penstemon hartwegii
A bushy perennial, reaching up to 4 feet x 16 inches, that is native to Mexico.
The leaves, up to 4 inches in length, are rich-green.
The flowers, up to 2 inches in length, are bright scarlet-red.
Hardy zones 8 to 10

Penstemon haydenii
Among the rarest of all Penstemons. Full text description coming soon.

* photo of unknown internet source


Penstemon heterophyllus ( Foothill Penstemon )
A shubby perennial, reaching a maximum size of 3.3 x 5 ( rarely over 2 x 3 ) feet,
that is native to California.
The narrow leaves, up to 2 inches in length, are glossy, deep blue-green.
The pinkish-blue to bright blue flowers are borne all summer long.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( not in the humid eastern U.S. ) in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil. Very drought tolerant.

'Blue Bedder'
Compact in habit, with flowers that are bright blue. In mild climates such as California, it may bloom up to 8 months of the year if deadheaded.

'Heavenly Blue'
Blue flowers.

var purdyi
Reaches up to 2 feet in height, and is native to California.
The attractive foliage is deep green.
The rich blue flowers are borne from spring into summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 10 in full sun in climates with 30 + inches of yearly rainfall. Cut back after first flush of blooms to encourage rebloom.

Penstemon hirsutus
A long lived ( 10 + years ), rapid spreading, clumping perennial, reaching up to 4 x 2 feet, that is native to dry sandy woods in eastern North America from Wisconsin to Quebec and Maine; south to Kentucky to Virginia.
The sharply-toothed, lance-shaped leaves, up to 5 inches in length, are green above, downy beneath. The bases of the upper leaves join around the stems. The green foliage turns to bronze during winter.
The violet flowers, up to an inch in width, are borne on a leafless inflorescence during early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 in full sun to partial shade. Drought tolerant. Tolerates hot, humid summers.

'Pygmaeus'
Reaches up to 6 x 10 inches with violet flowers borne all summer long.
Makes an excellent groundcover, even tolerating dry shade.

Penstemon jamesii
A perennial, reaching up to 2 feet in height, that is native to mountain coniferous forests of the southwestern U.S. ( from southern Utah to southwest Colorado; south to northern Arizona to western Texas )
The leaves are linear.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 in full sun on warm, dry, well drained soil.

* photos taken by Patrick J. Alexander @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Penstemon laevigatus ( Smooth Beardtongue )
A perennial, reaching up to 3.5 feet, that is native to meadows and rich woodlands in eastern North America.
The purplish flowers are borne early to mid summer.
It thrives in full sun to partial shade on well drained soils.
Penstemon linarioides ssp. coloradoensis
A tiny, mat-forming perennial, reaching up to 1.5 x 2 feet, with green, needle-like leaves. The profuse flowers are purple.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade.

Penstemon menziesii
A shrubby perennial, reaching up to 1 x 2 feet, with toothed, oblong leaves and violet-blue or purple flowers during early summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 ( not in humid eastern U.S. )

Penstemon x mexicali
A group of hybrid Penstemons, reaching up to 15 inches in height.
The narrow foliage is deep green.
The flowers are borne late summer into autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun. Moderately drought tolerant.

* photo taken on Sep 29 2013 in Ellicott City, MD


'Pikes Peak Purple'
A fast growing and compact perennial, reaching up to 15 inches x 1 foot. The narrow lance-shaped, evergreen leaves are deep green. The showy violet-purple flowers are borne all summer long. Hardy zones 4b to 9 in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil. It is very heat, drought and humidity tolerant, even thriving in the southeast.

* photo taken on June 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

Penstemon 'Red Rocks'
A form of P. campanulatus. Reaches up to 1.5 x 2.5 feet with glossy bright green, narrow foliage and reddish-pink flowers late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil. It is more moisture tolerant than many Penstemons but is also drought tolerant.

* photo taken on May 21 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

Penstemon newberryi
A shrubby perennial, reaching up to 1 foot x 32 inches, with toothed, oval leaves and profuse, deep red flowers during early summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 ( not in humid eastern U.S. )

Penstemon nitidus ( Shining Penstemon )
A rosette forming perennial, reaching up to 10 x 10 inches, that is native to the Canadian Prairie Provinces.
The foliage is fleshy.
The purple, lavender or blue flowers are borne during early spring.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 in full sun. Drought tolerant.

Penstemon ovatus ( Broad-Leaved Penstemon )
A perennial, reaching up to 4 x 2 feet, that is native to open woodlands and limestone outcrops in the Pacific Northwest ( southern British Columbia; south to northern Oregon ).
The broad, leathery leaves are up to 6 inches in length.
The lavender-blue to purple flowers, up to 0.8 inches in length, are borne during summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on just about any fertile, well drained soil.

'Albus'
White flowers.

Penstemon palmeri
A perennial, reaching up to 7 x 2 ( rarely over 5 ) feet, that is native to Arizona and New Mexico.
The attractive foliage is gray.
The large, pale-pink flowers, up to 1.4 inches long, are borne in huge spikes during late spring into early summer. This is among the very few fragrant Penstemon.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun on dry, rocky or sandy, well drained soil. Requires average annual precip of under 18 inches making it suitable only in the western U.S.

Penstemon parryi
A perennial, reaching up to 4.5 x 2 feet, that is native to southern Arizona.
The leaves, up to 5 inches in length, are blue-green.
The showy, deep rose-pink flowers are borne mid spring to early summer.
Hardy zones 8 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on very well drained soil.

Penstemon pinifolius ( Pineleaf Beardtongue )
A moderate growing, compact, low, evergreen shrub reaching up to 2 x 2 feet, that is native to Arizona, New Mexico and neighboring northern Mexico.
The very narrow, needle-like leaves are up to 4 inches in length. The foliage is mid-green.
The profuse, bright-red, tubular flowers are borne on spikes during summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil. Heat and extremely drought tolerant.

'Compactum'
A miniature form, reaching up to 10 inches x 1 foot, very profusely bearing intense scarlet-red flowers during late spring but many weeks before regular Penstemon pinifolius.

'Mercea Yellow'
Vigorous in habit, reaching up to 16 x 15 inches, with very profuse, yellow flowers borne over a long season during mid summer.

'Nearly Red'
Reaches up to 1.5 x 1 foot, with red, long, tubular flowers.

'Tall Orange Mix'
A mix sold by High Country Gardens that includes a mix of very profuse, intense orange and scarlet flowers.

Penstemon procumbens
A low creeping, groundcover perennial reaching only 2 inches in height.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade.

'Claude Barr'
Pink flowers borne all summer long.

Penstemon procerus ( Small Flowered Penstemon )
A perennial, reaching up to 16 x 16 inches, that is native to northwest North America.
The lance-shaped leaves, up to 2 inches in length, are deep green.
The purplish-pink to lavender-blue ( with white center ) flowers are borne during summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 in full sun to partial shade.

var formosus
A low alpine form that makes a great rock garden plant. It reaches only 2 inches in height and bears lavender flowers during summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 7.

Penstemon pseudospectabilis 'Coconino' ( Canyon Penstemon )
Reaches up to 3 x 2 feet, with evergreen foliage that forms a showy mound. It is native to the Arizona and southern New Mexico ( 'Coconino' specifically from Coconino Co., Arizona ).
The very profuse, spectacular, intense deep-pink, tubular flowers are borne on spikes over a month during late spring. In some climates, it may bloom for most of the year.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 on poor, well drained soils. Very drought tolerant, it thrives on hot dry sites.

Penstemon richardsonii
A brittle-stemmed, woody based perennial, reaching up to 3 feet in height, that is native to dry rocky areas from southern British Columbia to Oregon.
The deeply double-toothed, ovate leaves are up to 3 inches in length.
The flowers are rose-pink.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 ( not in humid east )

Penstemon rostriflorus ( Bridge's Beardtongue )
A perennial, reaching up to 3.3 x 1.5 feet, that is native to high mountains of eastern California, Nevada and Utah. The very profuse, intense orange-red, trumpet-shaped flowers are borne during mid summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun on well drained soil, preferring dry climates with cool summer nights.

Penstemon rupicola
A low, mat-forming, evergreen, shrubby perennial, reaching up to 8 inches x 1.5 feet, that is native from Washington State to northern California.
The small, thick, leathery leaves are up to 1 inch in length. The foliage is blue-green.
The deep purplish-pink flowers are borne late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( not in humid east ) in full sun to partial shade on moist, well drained soil.

Penstemon scouleri
A dense, shrubby perennial, reaching up to 1.5 x 1.5 feet, that is native from British Columbia to Idaho.
The leathery, oval leaves, up to 2 inches in length, are deep green.
The purple flowers, up to 2 inches in length, are borne early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 ( not in humid east )

Penstemon smallii ( Small's Beard Tongue )
A moderately long lived, bushy perennial, reaching up to 3 x 2 feet, that is native to woodlands of Tennessee and the Carolinas.
The pinkish-purple flowers, up to 1 inch, are borne during late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on very well drained or sandy soil. Very drought tolerant.

Penstemon strictus ( Porch Penstemon )
A long lived, clumping, evergreen perenial reaching a maximum size of 3.3 x 3.3 ( rarely over 2 ) feet, that is native to mountains in the western U.S. from Utah to Wyoming; south to Arizona to New Mexico.
The long, narrow, oval leaves, up to 4 inches in length, form a dense mat.
The glossy deep green foliage turns purplish during winter.
The deep blue-purple flowers, up to 1 inch in length, are borne all summer long.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 ( not in humid east ) in full sun to partial shade on very well drained soil. Drought tolerant and easy to grow. Allow some seed to form to sustain the plant however allowing too much seed to form may shorten its life expectancy.

'Bandera'
Intense deep purplish-blue flowers up to 2 inches in length, otherwise similar to species.

Penstemon superbus
A perennial, forming a foliage clump, up to 2 x 2 feet, reaching up to 6 feet in height while in bloom. Ir is native from southeastern Arizona to New Mexico.
The leaves are oblong.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun on dry, well drained soil.

Penstemon tenuis ( Gulf Coast Beardtongue )
A perennial, reaching up to 4 x 3 feet, that is native from Texas to Arkansas; south to Louisiana.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun; it is soil tolerant, thriving on both well drained or swampy soil.

Penstemon venustus
A tap-rooted, woody-based perennial, reaching up to 2.7 feet in height, that is native to the northwestern U.S. ( Washington State to Idaho; south to Oregon ).
The toothed, lance-shaped leaves, up to 4 x 1.3 inches in size, are mid-green.
The lavender to violet-purple flowers, up to 1.5 x 0.3 inches in size, are borne all summer long.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun on well drained soil.

Penstemon virens ( Blue Mist Beardtongue )
A dwarf perennial, reaching up to 8 x 10 inches, that is native to forested hills of eastern Colorado and Wyoming.
The deep green foliage forms evergreen rosettes.
The blue ( with lavender throat ) flowers are borne on spikes during late spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil.

Penstemon whippleanus
A very long-lived, evergeen perennial, reaching a maximum size of 2.5 feet x 15 inches, that is native to alpine meadows and open high montane forests in the western U.S. ( Montana to northern Arizona and New Mexico ).
The lance-shaped leaves are up to 4 inches in length.
The purple-blue flowers are borne early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 ( tolerating -40 F ) in full sun to partial shade on just about any fertile, well drained soil.

Penstemon Hybrids
Hardy zones 7 to 9 with a preferance for hot summers. In England or other cool summer climates, they are often used in massed bedding but are best treated as annuals though it can be attempted to bring them through the winter with mulching.
Most cultivars listed below flower from early summer to mid autumn and all prefer full sun and well drained soil. The Penstemons are excellent for use in planters.

Penstemon 'Bev Jensen'
Upright and dense, reaching up to 3 feet, with broad, mid-green leaves and large, showy, rich rose--purple flowers with deep red throat streaking.

Penstemon 'Blackbird'
Reaches up to 3 x 3 feet, with broad mid-green leaves and deep red-purple flowers on red-purple stems.

Penstemon 'Blue Lips'
An evergreen perennial, reaching up to 10 inches x 1.5 feet. This is an introduction from the outstanding nursery High Country Nursery.
The needle-like leaves are blue-gray.
The profuse, showy, lavender ( bright blue lipped ) flowers are borne during late spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 on well drained soil. Rabbit resistant.

Penstemon 'Elizabeth Cozzens'
Reaches up to 2.5 x 3 feet, with short, lance, mid-green leaves and lilac-pink ( with purplish-pink ) throat striping.

Penstemon 'Enor'
Tight and upright in habit, with glossy mid-green leaves.
The flowers are purple-red to mid-purple.

Penstemon 'Garnet'
Floppy in habit, reaching up to 3 x 3 feet, with glossy mid-green leaves and intense deep-red flowers are borne during late summer.
Prone to some leafspot.

Penstemon 'Ghent Purple'
Compact and mounding, reaching up to 1.5 feet.
The serrated narrow leaves are bright green.
The purple flowers have a speckled white throat.
Disease resistant.

Penstemon 'Holly's White'
Reaches up to 1.5 feet with mid-green leaves and white flowers.

Penstemon 'Joy'
Reaches up to 3 x 3 feet, with broad, bright green leaves.
The flowers are rich salmon-red with a white throat.

Penstemon 'King George'
Reaches up to 3 feet with salmon-red flowers that have a white throat. The flowers are borne mid-summer to mid-autumn.

Penstemon 'Midnight'
Also called 'Midnight Blue'. Vigorous and upright in habit, reaching up to 3 x 3 feet, it is a long-lived perennial, persisting longer than many Penstemons.
The narrow, recurved leaves are deep green.
The deep purplish-blue flowers, up to 1.2 x 1 inches in size, are borne early summer to early autumn if deadheaded.
Hardy zones 7 +.

Penstemon 'Mother of Pearl'
Reaches up to 3.5 x 3 feet, with deep green foliage and small, purplish-pink flowers with red lines and a white throat.

Penstemon 'Pink Chablis'
Dense and compact, reaching up to 1.5 x 1.5 feet, with neat glossy rosettes of foliage and profuse mid-pink flowers that repeat bloom if deadheaded.
Hardy zones 3 to 8

Penstemon 'Pink Endurance'
Reaches up to 2 x 1.5 feet, forming a rosette of mid-green leaves topped by
profuse, small, clear-pink, tubular flowers from mid summer to late autumn.
Hardy zones 6 to 8

Penstemon 'Purple Passion'
Reaches up to 3 feet, with intense, violet-purple, bell-shaped flowers.

Penstemon 'Raven'
Reaches up to 3 x 3 feet, with mid-green leaves and large, deep red-purple ( white throat ) flowers.

Penstemon 'Razzle Dazzle'
Reaches up to 3 x 3 feet, with narrow, bright green leaves and hot-red flowers.

Penstemon 'Rich Ruby'
Reaches up to 3 x 3 feet with bright green leaves and large, deep red to purplish-red flowers with light stamens.

Penstemon 'Ruby'
Vigorous and bushy in habit, reaching up to 3.3 x 2 ( rarely over 2 ) feet in size.
It bears intense deep red, tubular flowers, up to 1.6 inches in length, during late spring, repeating late summer to mid-autumn if cut back after the first flush. the leaves are narrow.

Penstemon 'Snowstorm'
Reaches up to 2.3 feet in height, with pure white, bell-shaped flowers, up to 1.6 inches in length.
The foliage is deep green.

Penstemon 'Sour Grapes' ( Gloxinia Penstemon )
Reaches up to 3 x 2.5 ( rarely over 2.5 ) feet, with abundant, rich mid-purple, large flowers from early summer to mid-autumn.
The large, elliptical leaves are deep green.
Tolerates as low as -40 F.

Penstemon 'Suttons Pink Peddler'
Compact in habit, reaching up to 3 feet, with glossy bright-green leaves and clear pink flowers with a white throat.

Penstemon 'Sweet Grapes'
Compact and heavy flowering, reaching up to 1.5 x 1.5 feet. This hybrid has neat glossy rosettes of foliage and purple flowers that rebloom if deadheaded.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun. Tolerant of poor clay soil.

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