Alphabetical Plant Listing

Penstemon mensarum (Grand Mesa Beardtongue)

Grand Mesa Beardtongue, Grand Mesa Penstemon, Tiger Beardtongue


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. Blooming for several weeks in late spring and early summer, they rise on upright stems well above a compact basal rosette. The tubular flowers attract scores of hummingbirds, bumblebees and other beneficial pollinators. The shiny blue-green foliage turns reddish-orange in the fall. The beautiful flowers and handsome evergreen foliage make Penstemon mensarum attractive for ornamental and landscape plantings. Easy to grow, fuss-free, water-wise, it is perfect for perennial borders, rock gardens and xeriscape gardens.

  • Grows up to 2-3 ft. tall (60-90 cm) and 12-18 in. wide (30-45 cm). 
  • Performs best in full sun in dry to medium, well-drained soils. Drought tolerant once established. Tolerates some shade and thrives with moderate watering.
  • Provides a bold and striking impact in beds and borders, cottage gardens, rock gardens or in containers. Plant in bold groupings.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant.
  • Deadhead after flowering to promote vigor.
  • Propagation by seed or by basal stem cuttings.
  • Native to western Colorado.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 10
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Penstemon - Beardtongues
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" (45cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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By Goran Bogicevic, Shutterstock

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.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 10
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Penstemon - Beardtongues
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" (45cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Penstemon - Beardtongues

Guides with Penstemon - Beardtongues

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