schmidel. Full sun. Nearly 270 species of beardtongue (Penstemon spp.) Tolerates high heat and humidity. ‘Red Riding Hood’Riding Hood SeriesP. Features white, two-lipped, tubular flowers (to 1.25" long) borne in panicles atop erect, rigid stems. It is equally at home in wild gardens, at the edges of meadows and prairies. . Penstemon blooms from February through April in Phoenix. For more growing tips, including advice on purchasing nursery-grown plants and suggested varieties for beginners, read Growing Penstemons: Species, Cultivars and Hybrids, published by the American Penstemon Society. exist in the wild in a range stretching from Alaska to Central America. They can be oval, lance-shaped or needlelike with colors ranging from green or blue-green to deep purple. Most penstemons are herbaceous perennials, but some hybrid strains are half-hardy and better suited for use as annual bedding plants. (Zones: 5-8; Height: 3 to 6 feet; Bloom time: Late spring), Loose spires of bright orange-red flowers and evergreen foliage that resembles tiny pine needles. When in bloom, they will attract Hummingbirds to your yard and flower beds. Penstemon digitalis is one of the few penstemons that thrives in clay. You could try growing a few new ones from cuttings and see how they fare in a different site; they're quite easy in a gritty compost mix, I find. “There are so many good penstemons, with new ones coming onto the marketplace every year, that everywhere in North America, it is possible to grow at least one [type of] penstemon native to your area.”. He publishes online articles with major focus on pets, wildlife, gardening and fitness. Photo by John P. Weiser / Millette Photomedia, A native of California and the Southwest, with brilliant red hummingbird-magnet flowers and large, leathery evergreen leaves. Blooming for several weeks in late spring and early summer, they rise on upright stems well above a compact basal rosette. Even when not in bloom, 'Midnight Masquerade' retains its dark purple foliage color all season long. The 24 Best Plants to Attract Hummingbirds. The narrow lance-shaped leaves remain evergreen year-round. Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum) is a common fungi known to attack beardtongues and cause foliage decline and flower loss, according to University of California Integrated Pest Management. Cooperative Extension, which staffs local offices in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 18-24" tall x … Click here if you prefer to mix/match up to 6 species in a tray. The flowers fade fairly quickly, but the bloom season can be prolonged through careful pruning. Bloom time for Penstemon typically begins in late spring through early summer, so try combining with plants that start blooming in mid summer, such as coneflower and black-eyed Susan, to fill the gap. Most species bloom during May and June in the middle latitudes of the U.S, according to the American Penstemon Society. Most species bloom during May and June in the middle latitudes of the U.S, according to the American Penstemon Society. Some species are under 10 inches tall, while others can grow up to 6 feet. Flowers bloom mid-spring to early summer. Each flower has two lips – the upper one with two lobes, and the lower one with three lobes. (Zones: 3-8; Height: 3 to 5 feet; Bloom time: May to June) Foothill penstemon (P. heterophyllus): A California native with glossy blue-green leaves and blue flowers on slender spikes. Discover the right perennial plants for your garden. Spring Potted Plants (3-packs and trays of 38) ship when all plants are well-rooted and transit-ready, early May through June. The amount of water you’ll need to give them will often depend on the water-holding capacity of your soil and the origin of the varieties you have chosen. Attractive glossy deep green foliage. Developed in Nebraska, this tough cold-hardy hybrid is ideal for gardens in northern climates The plants form low clumps of deep green foliage, set off in early summer by tall spires of vibrant purple flowers with white throats and magenta veining. (Zones: 6-10; Height: 1 to 1½ feet; Bloom time: May to June), Firecracker penstemon. Fast growing to about 30 inches tall and wide; to 36 inches tall in bloom. Deadheading eliminates the possibility of seed production, so leave a few flower stems in place to ripen so seed can be harvested for next year's garden. They are extremely sensitive to poorly draining soils and winter moisture. Deadheading will also prolong flowering, but be sure to leave a few seed heads on the stalks toward the end of the season so your plants can reseed. Similar to ‘Husker Red’ but with pale pink flowers and darker red foliage. Penstemons in Bloom Submitted May 30, 2013 at 4:58 PM As the Garden springs back to life in leaps and bounds, one flower always makes a statement, the Penstemon. This hybrid selection forms a low clump of … This feature may not be prominent in all species. ‘Red Riding Hood’ is just one of seven colors in the Dutch-bred Riding Hood series, which also includes blue, delft blue, hot pink, lavender, marble cream, and purple. Hybrids bred for garden conditions are not as drought tolerant as native species and may require watering during prolonged dry spells. All feature a compact growth habit, prolific flowering, a super-long bloom season, and excellent winter hardiness. Related to foxgloves and snapdragons, a kinship evident in the vertical flower spikes and the flared, tubular blooms, which are perfect feeding stations for hummingbirds. All Rights Reserved. Cultivars include 'Blue Springs' and ‘Electric Blue’. Part of the plantain family (Plantaginaceae), penstemons are a huge genus of plants encompassing approximately 270 species and over 800 cultivars and hybrids. ‘Red Riding Hood’ has an abundance of huge, white lipped, coral-red flowers from late spring through summer. In summer, the large trumpets of pale lavender-pink flowers bloom for weeks, followed by glossy purple seed pods that provide additional fall interest. The tubular flowers bloom for a long time in summer, attracting hummingbirds. The pollen-free stamen (or staminode) protrudes from the flower and is covered by small hairs, thus the common name beardtongue. var theDate=new Date() Bloom Time: Mid Summer . ‘Dark Towers’ also seems to retain its color better in summer. Bloom Time: Early Summer: Design Ideas: This perennial is a super showy native that will grow beautifully in most any garden. On this page: Basics | Types | Growing Guide | Penstemon Pictures | Design Ideas. Sign up for weekly gardening inspiration and design tips. The beautiful spires of tubular blossoms add loads of color to the garden and are beloved by hummingbirds and butterflies alike. It bears spikes of lipstick pink flowers in early summer and again in late summer if deadheaded. Cardwell's Penstemon … If you want to grow varieties that require the least amount of soil preparation and watering and will overwinter reliably, choose species that are native to your area and thrive in soil conditions and climates similar to yours. In addition to hummingbirds, the flowers attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators. * Required | We will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations. resources Penstemon. Penstemon x mexicali 'Sunburst Ruby' was introduced by Jelitto Perennial Seeds in 2005. Dressed in purple from head to toe, this stunning hybrid flaunts lavender purple flowers rising on dark purple stems above full clumps of lush eggplant-purple foliage. Native to the Southwest, it grows best in dry climates. This selection has brilliant cherry-red flowers held on tall, upright stems above dense, glossy green foliage. Discover unique garden products curated by the Garden Design editors, plus items you can use to solve problems in your garden right now, and best sellers from around the web. The name is derived from the Greek words penta and stemon, referring to the flower’s five stamens, four of which are fertile and one sterile. (Zones: 4-8; Height: 2 to 3 feet; Bloom time: June to September), Native to the northern Great Plains and northeastern states, this species is more tolerant of high humidity and moist soil than those of western origin. Commonly known as Hairy Beardtongue, this flower will grow 12-18″ tall (30-45 cm) in full sun or partial shade, with well draining soil that is slightly moist to dry. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and is a native to the eastern US Great Plains. In early summer, airy spires of white flowers with just the faintest blush of pink emerge, creating a striking contrast with the dark foliage. Planting them in raised beds or sloped areas will help them survive wet conditions. One of the showiest native penstemons, Beardtongue can reach heights of three feet with stunning lavender-pink flowers. Hardiness Zones: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b. Herbaceous. Penstemon smallii NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to form a strategic partnership called N.C. Another variety with colorful foliage, ‘Husker Red’ features striking maroon-red leaves that rival the bronzy purple foliage of ‘Palace Purple’ heuchera. (Zones: 4-9; Height: 10 to 12 inches; Bloom time: Late spring to midsummer), Mexicali penstemons are hybrids of Mexican species having large, showy flowers crossed with native North American species that exhibit good cold-tolerance. Selective pruning or deadheading encourages the production of fresh stem growth that will bloom again in late summer or early fall, according to Yerba Buena Nursery. Typically grows 1-3' tall. Warmer areas and coastal climates with a less pronounced seasonal temperature variation will see their first flowers in mid- to late spring. Foliage of some species remains evergreen in mild climates. RELATED:The Best Perennials for PollinatorsGardening with Native Plants. Family: Scrophulariaceae Botanical Name: Penstemon eatonii Water Usage: Low As the name implies, 'Electric Blue' has iridescent bright-blue flowers that seem to light up the garden with their intensity. Adds rich, contrasting color to beds, borders and mixed containers. Too much water and excess nutrients can cause damage to the roots, which will create an ideal environment for infections as well as cause a decline in the plant's overall vigor. Penstemon plants (Beardtongue) come in a variety of shapes, colors and bloom times to deliver texture and dimension to your garden across the seasons. The shape and color of the leaves vary depending on the cultivar. Native to southern California, Arizona and Utah, it thrives in arid climates and dry, sandy soils. Flowers first year. document.write(theDate.getFullYear()) Plant the seed at a depth of ¼ to ½ inch and keep the soil moist after planting for natural stratification to occur. Native to western Colorado, Penstemon mensarum (Grand Mesa Beardtongue) is an evergreen perennial boasting showy spires of brilliant cobalt blue flowers, a shade of blue rarely seen in gardens. Its purplish-white blooms appear in open clusters on the upper parts of the stems from May through July. Beardtongues require heat to bloom prolifically, according to the National Gardening Association, so they may flower at different times depending on the local climate. Bloom Time: Early Summer . Beard-tongues are native North American wildflowers, available in a surprising range of colours, heights and textures. For seed sources, visit the American Penstemon Society, which offers an online seed exchange program for members as well as a list of seed companies. A purple blush at the base of each floral “light bulb” only enhances the brilliant display, as does the attractive narrow evergreen foliage. Deadhead to promote longer blooming. They tend to be short-lived plants and will often need replenishment after a few seasons. the way of extra feeding and cosseting to bloom well, IME. Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Beardtongue) is a bushy clump-forming perennial with strong, erect stems boasting stalked clusters of bell-shaped, white flowers, 1 in. Only three feet high, this clump-forming perennial does well in full sun to … Two popular selections include rosy pink Red Rocks® and violet purple Pikes Peak Purple®. Find a Garden Center that carries Proven Winners plants & products. The main difference is that ‘Mystica’s’ bronzy red foliage is longer lasting and stays attractive until frost, with the leaves turning an even richer red in fall and often persisting into early winter. Bloom time is late spring through early summer. ‘Midnight Masquerade’ Penstemon hybrid. With such a wide variety of species and cultivars to choose from, you can have a penstemon blooming for almost the entire growing season. Under ideal conditions, the plants will continue to bloom sporadically until late summer when they will experience a second, less spectacular flush of blooming before entering winter dormancy. Named the 1996 perennial plant of the year by the Perennial Plant Association, this is one of the few that tolerates moist soils and humid climates. Glossy bronze-red foliage is topped by masses of tubular light pink flowers. Requires a well-drained soil. For more, see The 24 Best Plants to Attract Hummingbirds. The white flowers bloom for a month or longer, and look great with the blue flowers of Ohio Spiderwort and Blue Eyed Grass. Trumpet shaped blooms, on this perennial plant, come in white, red, pink, purple, and lavender. “The beauty and variability of penstemons have brought them to the forefront of home gardening, especially in areas subjected to droughts,” says Jennifer Bennett, author of Dryland Gardening. Glossy green foliage is a nice complement. The first species to bloom, for me, are shrubby penstemon (Penstemon fruticosus) and Chelan penstemon (P. pruinosus), which flower beginning in mid April. 'Midnight Masquerade' — Buy now from Proven WinnersPenstemon hybrid. Most cultivated beardtongues, also called bearded tongue plants, bloom in late spring and early summer, depending on the species. In Mexico, they bloom in August and September. (Zones: 4-9; Height: 2 to 3 feet; Bloom time: Early summer). Varies widely. Avoid soil amendments that hold moisture, such as peat moss and manure. He also covers parenting, juvenile science experiments, cooking and alternative/home remedies. With so many colors to choose from, everyone can find a penstemon to love. It is a simple process, but it must be done at the right time of year to give the divisions a good shot at survival. Beardtongue plants typically bloom in early summer, filling that gap between the end of spring bulbs and the maturing of summer flowers like coneflowers, yarrow, and coreopsis. This is an excellent Penstemon for a big impact in well draining, full sun locations. Excellent species for dry rock gardens. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Tall red spikes stand up boldly in the perennial border and are essential in cottage gardens. This can be done by taking softwood cuttings of nonflowering shoots in mid to late summer or by dividing plants in late winter or early spring. Despite their reputation for ruggedness and self-sufficiency, beardtongues perform best and bloom most spectacularly when properly sited and provided with routine care. Photo by: InfoFlowersPlants / Shutterstock. Penstemon digitalis is a clump-forming, Missouri-native perennial which typically grows 3-5' tall and occurs in prairies, fields, wood margins, open woods and along railroad tracks. The blooming time extends from summer to early fall. A California native, ‘Electric Blue’ is tolerant of drought and coastal climates. Some species have tubular flowers that are beloved by hummingbirds. Because of their tubular nectar-rich flowers, they are one of the best garden perennials for attracting hummingbirds, according to The Hummingbird Society, rivaling salvias, columbines, honeysuckles and other hummingbird favorites. Penstemon Electric Blue - Common name:Beardtongue - Flowering spikes with trumpets of vivid blue. If you are growing species native to your area, you will rarely have to give them supplemental water after they become well established. Penstemon derive their nickname, beardtongue, from the fact that a hairy stamen sticks out of the “mouth” of the flower. The range of flower colors cover the full penstemon spectrum. The blooming season is wrapped up by cutleaf penstemon (P. richardsonii), with its long bloom period extending into August. Affected plants should be removed to prevent further infections and the bed should be replanted with a fusarium-resistant variety. A 2-inch layer of organic mulch spread between the plants will help conserve water and keep weeds at bay, but a 1-inch gap must be left between the plant and the mulch layer to allow extra soil moisture to evaporate. ‘Mystica’ is an offspring of ‘Husker Red’ and every bit as showy. It occurs most often under irrigated conditions and can be prevented by providing good drainage and restricting water and fertilizer. More about the newsletter. A Dutch hybrid developed from Penstemon barbatus, ‘Red Riding Hood’ is a very showy, cold hardy Penstemon. Varieties with purple or reddish leaves will exhibit the best foliage color when grown in direct sunlight. Penstemons need little pruning, but removing the stems after flowering is complete will often promote new foliage growth and a second flush of blooms. This long-blooming beauty will lure hummingbirds to your garden for months, enticing them with bright magenta veining that guides them to the nectar deep within the trumpet-shaped rosy-pink flowers. Plant beardtongues in a sunny spot with at least 12 inches of space between each plant. It’s also one of the longest-lived and one of the easiest to grow from seed. Photo by Proven Winners. Shell-Leaf Penstemon (P. grandiflorus) Shell Leaf Penstemon is a large flowering variety that has tubular pink-lavender blooms. It makes an excellent choice for a … In addition to hummingbirds, bees also adore the pollen and nectar; Penstemon is a smart addition to a pollinator or meadow garden. They will bloom in June in the northern states and in July in Canada. University of California Integrated Pest Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture NCRS Plant Fact Sheet: Penstemon, Yerba Buena Nursery: Basic Pruning and Deadheading Techniques for Common California Native Plants, National Gardening Association Plant Care Guides: Penstemon, University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Fusarium Wilt, Basal Rot. Carefree and drought resistant, this Penstemon sports an interesting purple blush at the stems. Colder areas where the soil and air warms slowly in spring see the main flowering display around midsummer once temperatures have risen. Penstemon This North American native plant produces charming colorful tubular flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. long (2.5 cm), from late spring to midsummer. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric). In early summer, right after your spring bloomers have faded, they fill the garden with spires of foxglove-like flowers in hues ranging from soft pinks and lavenders to bold, fiery reds and electrifying blues. A favorite of hummingbirds, Beardtongue are low-care, big-color wildflowers that grow quickly when planted in … ‘Bandera’, a highly ornamental cultivar, offers the advantage of exhibiting greater tolerance for heavy clay soil. Barely a foot tall, this petite clump-forming selection makes a big visual impact when massed in the garden or grown along walkways and borders. Get planting advice, garden design tips and trends, monthly checklists for your area, product specials and more in our weekly newsletter. The problem is narrowing down your choices! Photo by: Frank Richards / Millette Photomedia. The elegant trumpet-shaped flowers are white or pale pink with the inner surfaces often marked by violet-colored nectar guides. Penstemon love hot, sunny, dry growing conditions. These are some of the most adaptable and widely available choices: A showy plant with erect spikes of 2-inch-long reddish-orange flowers and glossy lance-shaped leaves. Resembling foxgloves, they rise above a particularly handsome basal foliage of lance-shaped, deep green leaves. Shrubby penstemon in the nursery. At maturity the plant can reach 24-36” inches height and 15” wide. Beardtongue are long blooming and will do well in a drier climate; especially happy in loose gravelly soil and good drainage. Remove the tip of the flowering stem just above a healthy set of leaves using clean, sharp pruning shears and discard it. Photo by: Detail Photography / Alamy Stock Photo. For hummingbird lovers, they offer another important attribute. They will bloom in June in … Features loose, terminal clusters of white, trumpet-shaped flowers (to 1.25" long) atop erect, rigid stems. Bloom Time. Amistaadt has written book reviews for Work At Home Truth. It generally takes a year or two before seed-grown plants begin to bloom. Many species will also self-sow freely. From tools to furniture, these garden products are sure to delight. Penstemons may be bothered by slugs, snails, and spider mites. Full sun to part shade. Penstemons do best in well-drained, slightly alkaline soil and will even grow in soils that are mostly sand or gravel. The flowers range in color from red to pink to white and even purple. Although many are native to arid regions of the West and Southwest, almost every state in the continental U.S. has at least one native penstemon, demonstrating the amazing range of climates to which they are suited. Beardtongues bloom on new growth, which emerges from the tips of the vertical stalks. Ideally, the plants’ crowns should remain dry while the roots have access to a small but steady supply of moisture during the growing season. Pink with the eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as peat moss and manure it can grow up 6. 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