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Penstemon eatonii (Firecracker Penstemon)

Firecracker Penstemon, Firecracker Beardtongue, Eaton's Penstemon, Eaton's Beardtongue

Penstemon eatonii, Firecracker Penstemon, Firecracker Beardtongue, Eaton's Penstemon, Eaton's Beardtongue, Red Penstemon, Red Beardtongue
Penstemon eatonii, Firecracker Penstemon, Firecracker Beardtongue, Eaton's Penstemon, Eaton's Beardtongue, Red Penstemon, Red Beardtongue
Penstemon eatonii, Firecracker Penstemon, Firecracker Beardtongue, Eaton's Penstemon, Eaton's Beardtongue, Red Penstemon, Red Beardtongue

Penstemon eatonii (Firecracker Penstemon) is a showy perennial with several sprawling to erect stems boasting 5 to 10 brilliant red tubular flowers in late spring through late summer. The flowers attract bees, wasps, hummingbirds and other pollinating insects. They rise above a basal foliage of lance-shaped, leathery green leaves. The fibrous root system and wide canopy cover make it a good plant for water-wise landscaping, rock gardens, desert gardens, and other ornamental plantings. Adding lovely vertical lines in the landscape, Firecracker Penstemon is also used in restoration and wildlife enhancement projects. Firecracker Penstemon was used by Native Americans for the treatment of spider bites, stomach troubles, to reduce bleeding, backache, snakebite, as a veterinary aid, and for healing of burns.

  • Grows up to 1-3 ft. tall and wide (30-90 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in rocky, loams, sandy loams, gravelly loams, well-drained to moderately well-drained soils. It does not grow well in areas with poor drainage. Drought tolerant once established. Penstemons need very little water and barely any fertilizer.
  • Provides a bold impact in beds and borders, cottage gardens, rock gardens or in prairie plantings. Great for naturalistic planting schemes.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Propagate by stratified seed or root division.
  • Native to the western United States from California to the Rocky Mountains.

Penstemon: How to Grow and Care with Success


Properly growing Penstemon ensures robust, vibrant blooms and foliage, enhances garden biodiversity by attracting pollinators, prevents disease, and maintains plant health. Thriving plants provide longer-lasting beauty and environmental benefits, contributing positively to local ecosystems and the aesthetic value of your landscape.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Plantaginaceae
Genus Penstemon
Common names Penstemon, Beardtongue
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Height 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado
Tolerance Drought, Deer
Attracts Bees, Birds, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
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Penstemon (Beardtongue)
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Penstemon pallidus (Pale Beardtongue)
Penstemon pseudospectabilis (Desert Beardtongue)
Penstemon parryi (Parry’s Beardtongue)
Penstemon heterophyllus ‘Electric Blue’ (Foothill Beardtongue)
Penstemon ‘Evelyn’ (Beardtongue)
Penstemon ovatus (Eggleaf Beardtongue)

Recommended Companion Plants

Chrysactinia mexicana (Damianita)
Artemisia tridentata (Big Sagebrush)
Encelia californica (California Brittlebush)
Fallugia paradoxa (Apache Plume)
Yucca brevifolia (Joshua Tree)
Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot Daisy)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

35 Flowering Shrubs That Thrive in Full Sun
Penstemon and Pollinators: A Harmonious Dance in the Garden
Thriving in Thirst: Colorful Penstemons for Water-Wise Landscapes
Penstemon: How to Grow and Care with Success
Penstemon (Beardtongue)
For the Love of Bees: Best Flowers to Attract them to Your Garden
How to Cultivate a Thriving Bee-Friendly Garden
Best Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Plantaginaceae
Genus Penstemon
Common names Penstemon, Beardtongue
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Height 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado
Tolerance Drought, Deer
Attracts Bees, Birds, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Penstemon (Beardtongue)
Not sure which Penstemon (Beardtongue) to pick?
Compare Now

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