Penstemon

Beard Tongue

Among the most exuberantly blooming plants this side of the Mississippi, Penstemon is part of the enchantment of the West. A member of the Snapdragon family, even cultivated varieties retain a natural air, with dainty, long trumpet flowers and five (pent) prominent stamens.

Sturdy and easily grown, species vary from 1 to 5 ft. tall, and range in color from white to pink to purple to deep wine redone for every sunny spot. Trim after the first bloom to encourage a repeat flowering, and cut to the crown in winter for bushy growth next season.

Diminutive narrow glossy green leaves with serrated margins define a well-groomed mounding foundation that looks healthy all season beneath a color-rich display of plum-colored flowers. Opening broadly to reveal striking purple striped white throats, the generously produced 1 in. blooms may be a tad smaller than some Penstemon cultivars, but they reward you with continuous blossoms when cut back midsummer. ‘Ghent Purples’s shorter stature can enhance the front of a bed, top a retaining wall or edge a path.

Blooms July–October

Size: 18" high x 2' 0" – 2-1/2' wide.

Hardy to zone 7.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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