penstemon heterophyllus


Common Names: foothill penstemon, blue bedder



Family: Plantaginaceae

Origin: California

Type: Perennial

Size: 2 ft. high in bloom, 3 ft. wide.

Flowers: Deep blue to violet tubular flowers on spikes, spring-early summer; blue-green shiny leaves.

Uses: Bird & butterfly gardens, accent, border, rock gardens, near oak trees, in heat. Fire resistive.

Wildlife: Nectar and seeds for birds and butterflies. Butterfly larvae habitat. Deer resistant.

Soil: Tolerates a variety; should be well-drained.

Water: Low once established.  Avoid too much water. Will go dormant in drought summer.

Sun: Full sun.

Pruning: Cut back about half after flowering; new stems provide best color. Prune again in March when new growth starts.

Pests & Diseases: Few pests and diseases although slugs, snails and powdery mildew can be occasional problems.

Notes: From coast and inland foothills of California. There are about 250 species of Penstemon. Hardy to 30° F.