Alphabetical Plant Listing

Penstemon spectabilis (Showy Beardtongue)

Showy Penstemon, Showy Beardtongue, Royal Penstemon, Royal Beardtongue


Calling out for attention, Penstemon spectabilis (Showy Beardtongue) is a clump-forming evergreen perennial boasting a spectacular display of wide-mouthed, tubular, rose, lavender or azure flowers in spring and early summer. The blossoms are borne on leafy stems that can bear up to 100 flowers on their upper half. They attract scores of hummingbirds, butterflies and other beneficial pollinators. The smooth, lance-shaped to oval, green or glaucous leaves, up to 4 in. long (10 cm), clasp the stems. Fast-growing, easy to grow, fuss-free, water-wise, Showy Beardtongue is an outstanding California native is perfect for the sunny water-wise garden. It is dramatic planted in masses in a dry mixed border.

  • Grows up to 2-4 ft. tall (60-120 cm) and 3-4 ft. wide (90-120 cm). Often self-seeds in the garden.
  • Performs best in full sun in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Water every three to four weeks or not at all once established. Drought tolerant.
  • Provides a charming impact in beds and borders, cottage gardens, Mediterranean gardens. Plant in bold groupings.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Susceptible to root rot in wet, poorly-drained soils. Deer resistant.
  • Cut back the stems after flowering and allow the later flowers to set seed for new plants.
  • Propagation by stem cuttings and root division is possible but seed is the easiest method. Plant in spring. Division should be in the fall; softwood cutting should be taken in summer.
  • Native to southern California and Baja California.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Climate Zones 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Penstemon - Beardtongues
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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Great Plant Combination Ideas with Penstemon - Beardtongues


Joe Decruyenaere (Flickr), 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 8 – 11
Climate Zones 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Penstemon - Beardtongues
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Penstemon - Beardtongues

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