Alphabetical Plant Listing

Penstemon speciosus (Royal Penstemon)

Royal Penstemon, Royal Beardtongue, Sagebrush Penstemon, Sagebrush Beardtongue, Penstemon speciosus ssp. kennedyi


Penstemon speciosus (Royal Penstemon) is a clump-forming perennial with several ascending to erect stems boasting charming wands of sky blue flowers, 1.5 in. long (4 cm), in late spring to mid summer. The blossoms attract bees, butterflies and numerous pollinators. Arising from a branched caudex, the stems are clad with oppositely arranged, narrow, spoon-shaped leaves, up to 6 in. long (15 cm). Royal Penstemon is a good plant for water-wise landscaping, rock gardens, desert gardens, and other ornamental plantings. Royal Penstemon is also chiefly used in wildlife habitat enhancement projects and restoration efforts.

  • Grows up to 2-3 ft. tall and wide (60-90 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in loam to fine sandy loam, 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. Keep an eye out for penstemon borers, Lygus bugs and raceme-boring moths.
  • Propagate by seed or half-woody cuttings.
  • Native to the western United States from western Utah, southern Idaho, and most of Nevada and into east Cascade and Sierra portions of Washington, Oregon and California.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 7
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 7, 14, 15, 16
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Penstemon - Beardtongues
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 24" – 36" (60cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southwest, Nevada
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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USDA NRCS Montana, Flickr

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 3 – 7
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 7, 14, 15, 16
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Penstemon - Beardtongues
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid)
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 24" – 36" (60cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southwest, Nevada
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, 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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