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A picture of a Cliff Beardtongue

Cliff Beardtongue

Penstemon rupicola

Also known as

Rock Penstemon

Photo by Matt Berger (CC BY 4.0)

Full Sun
Light watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








5 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Cliff Beardtongue

A close up of a Penstemon rupicola plant
A close up of a Penstemon rupicola plant with pink flowers
A close up of a pink purple Penstemon rupicola flower
A close up of some pink Penstemon rupicola flowers

Cliff Beardtongue Overview

Penstemon rupicola is an evergreen subshrub species from the Plantaginaceae family. It is found growing naturally from Washington to Northern California and doesn't typically exceed 10cm in height, spreading with a creeping habit to cover the ground. Leaves are small and rounded, flowers 2-lipped and coloured rose-pink, they measure around 3cm long and appear from late spring. Commonly known by the names Rock Penstemon and Cliff Beardtongue, this plant is adapted to rocky environments and it grows with a dwarfed habit, making it an excellent choice for a rock garden. This species has earnt a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit. It is also part of the RHS “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Cliff Beardtongue

How to propagate Cliff Beardtongue



Softwood or semi-ripe cuttings of non-flowering shoots in mid-summer. Propagate cultivars by cuttings.

Special features of Cliff Beardtongue

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

Ground cover

Other uses of Cliff Beardtongue

Rock garden, cutting bed, border, flower arranging Suitable for coastal conditions.