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Hollinshead Water-wise Garden Plants

Photo:

Taxon ID#

67

Its showy flowers attract numerous pollinators and other insects which provide a food source for birds and other vertebrates. This species is commonly used in xeriscaping. It is also suited for roadsides and other beautification projects.

Scientific  Name:

Penstemon speciosus

Common Name 1

› Royal Penstemon

Family:

Scrophulariaceae

Origins:

Eastern WA to CA, east to ID & northeastern UT

Plant Type:

Herbaceous Plant, Perennial
Common Name 2

› Showy Penstemon

Common Name 3

› Sagebrush Penstemon

Oregon native:

yes

Western state native:

yes

Scroll down for more information on each topic

Landscape Application Information

Seasonal Care

Resource Links

MAINTENANCE

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Min. USDA Hardiness Zone:

Sun Preference:

Full Sun

Water Preference:

VL

Soil Preference:

Sandy or rocky soils.

Fertilizer Needs:

Recommended Mulch:

PLANT DESCRIPTION

Foliage Color:

Gray-Green

Foliage Description:

Leaves are entire and narrow
to 15 cm (6 in) long and 1 to 12 mm (0.04 to 0.5 in) wide, rounded to acute at the tip. The leaves are
mostly sessile with some of the upper leaves clasping
the stem

Fragrant:

no

Predominant flower color:

Blue

Flower Description:

Tubular flowers are sky blue reaching 4 cm (1.5 in) long and about 1 cm (0.4
in) wide at the mouth.

Fall color:

no

Fall Color Description:

Winter Foliage:

Deciduous

Winter Interest:

no

Winter Interest Description:

Mature height:

2-2.5'

Mature spread:

2'

Growth rate:

Medium

LANDSCAPE APPLICATION

Deer Resistant:

no

Fire Resistant:

yes

Attracts Pollinators:

yes

Attracts Butterflies:

yes

Native Habitat:

Royal penstemon inhabits dry flats, slopes
and draws in the sagebrush-grass, mountain shrub
and juniper forest land communities. Plants typically
occur at low to middle elevations in lowlands and
foothills from 0 to over 10,000 feet.

Attracts Birds:

yes

Cut/Dried Flowers:

yes

Used by Wildlife:

yes

Swales:

no

Wildlife Use:

Its showy flowers attract
numerous pollinators and other insects which provide a food source for birds and other vertebrates.

Photo:

Hedge/Screen:

no

Border:

yes

Erosion Control:

yes

Windbreak:

no

Ground Cover:

no

Provides Shade:

no

Rock Garden:

yes

Cover Structures:

no

First Bloom:

Jun

Last Bloom:

Adds Texture/Movement:

Aug

Ornamental Accent:

yes

no

Garden Observations:

Being Crowded by Blanket Flower; completely covered

Seasonal Care
Maintenance

SEASONAL CARE

Spring Care:

Move in Spring to left of Rice Grass or to Corner by Poker?

Summer Care:

Fall Care:

Winter Care:

Leave some stems for frost protection and mulch with straw in winter, if necessary.

Long Term Care:

Insect Pests:

Impact from insect pests on penstemon seed production can be significant. Penstemon borer larva can infect the crown and upper root area of all Penstemon species resulting in the loss of individual plants to entire fields.

Wildlife Pests:

Diseases:

The OSU Plant Clinic has found Phytophthora spp., Rhizoctonia spp., and Fusarium spp. associated with root rots of Penstemon spp. grown in Oregon. (https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/host-and-disease-descriptions?title=Penstemon-Root+Rot)

Environmental Problems:

Landscape Problems:

Care Comments:

Penstemon are low maintenance. The main requirement for success is that they need to be planted in well-drained soil-they do not like to have wet feet or crowns. They do best in lean soil without any additional amendments.

RESOURCES

OSU Landscape Profile:

USDA Plants:

Calscape Database:

LBJ Native Plant Database:

Missouri Botanical Garden Database:

Monrovia Profile:

Alternate Source 1:

Alternate Source 2:

Source Comment:

Landscape Application
Resource Links

Plant Maintenance Information

Image by Mikaela Wiedenhoff

Sponsors
Desert Peaks Healthcare
George & Vickie Minor
Whistle Stop Farm & Flowers

McPheeter's Turf
High Desert Farms Nursery Sales, LLC
Schilling's Garden Market

Speakers
Karen McCarthy, Madras Garden Depot
Dan Denning, City of Bend
Nicole Bell, OSU Ecology Lab

Professor Amy Jo Detweiler
Craig LeHoullier
Amanda Egertson, Deschutes Land Trust
Dana Sanchez, OSU
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