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Rocky Mountain Penstemon
Rocky Mountain Beardtongue
Excellent perennial for a dry garden. Great specimen plant.
Min. USDA Hardiness Zone:
Though this penstemon tolerates heavy soils and moisture better than most members of the genus, it prefers dry, light, well-drained soils.
Herbaceous Plant, Perennial
Southern WY to northern NM & northeastern AZ
Western state native:
Low mats of foliage with paired leaves that range from narrow and grass-like to broad and lance-shaped
Predominant flower color:
Multiple spires of large, royal-blue to purple tubular flowers with two upper lobes that project forward over the lower lips, three deeply cut lobes.
Fall Color Description:
Winter Interest Description:
Subalpine to valley sagebrush & conifer forests; Rocky Mountain penstemon is often associated with sagebrush in pinyon-juniper woodland, oak scrub,
and openings of ponderosa pine and spruce-aspen
forest from 2200 to 3200 m in elevation.
Used by Wildlife:
Penstemons are considered desirable forage
for deer, antelope, and birds either as herbage or seed. They may also provide some cover for selected
small bird species.
Pruning is not necessary, but can be cut back in early spring.
Deadheading will encourage reblooming and more vigorous growth.
Leave some stems for frost protection and mulch with straw in winter, if necessary.
Long Term Care:
Disease problems are minimal except under irrigation. Under irrigation, fusarium wilt can be a problem. https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/host-and-disease-descriptions?title=Penstemon-Root+Rot
Do not over irrigate. 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.
OSU Landscape Profile:
LBJ Native Plant Database:
Missouri Botanical Garden Database:
Alternate Source 1:
Alternate Source 2:
George & Vickie Minor
Whistle Stop Farm & Flowers
High Desert Farms Nursery Sales
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