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A picture of a Penstemon

Penstemon

Penstemon barbatus

Also known as

Beardtongues

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

6a

USDA zone

-23°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1.8m

Max

50cm

1m

Min

50cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

Penstemon Overview

Penstemon is a large genus of roughly 250 species of deciduous or semi-evergreen perennials, shrubs or subshrubs. They are planted for their showy summer flowers. Numerous hybrids have been developed since the 19th Century and can be grown in a variety of climates. Penstemons are a good addition to a large border, while the smaller species are grown as bedding plants.

Common problems with Penstemon

Susceptible to slugs, snails and powdery mildew.

How to harvest Penstemon

Flowers can be cut for the vase.

How to propagate Penstemon

Seed

Sow seeds in late winter or spring.

Cuttings

Take soft-wood cuttings in early summer or semi-ripe cuttings in midsummer.

Division

Divide clumps in spring.

Special features of Penstemon

Attracts useful insects

Attracts bees

Drought resistant

Some species are well adapted to long dry spels.

Other uses of Penstemon

Cutting bed, borders Attracts humming birds in suitable geographical locations.

Medicinal

Native Americans used Penstemon for animal and human medicine, but modern hybrids are ornimental.