Penstemon speciosus

royal penstemon

Habit: upright stems arise from a branched caudex (ground level swollen stem) forming a clump. Long and narrow leaves clasp the stem, are sometimes folded lengthwise and covered in minute glands and hairs. Inflorescence is a long spike of tubular, sky blue to lavender purplish flowers, appearing to be in whorls. Flowers are distinctly two lipped, with the lips opening into a flared pale colored to white throat. Blooms between May and July.

Ecology: found on dry rocky slopes and plateaus, in sagebrush, and pine to subalpine forests occurring in low elevations to over 10,000 ft (3050 m).


Growing Conditions: full sun in moist to dry soil, well-drained rocky soil. Drought tolerant once established.

Can be used for wildlife habitat enhancement and restoration. Its showy flowers attract numerous pollinators and other insects that provide a food source for birds and other small mammals. Great for xeriscaping.

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Type: Herbaceous Perennial
Height: 2-36 in (5-90 cm)
Width: 2-36 in (5-90 cm)
USDA Zones: 3-10
Map courtesy of USDA-NRCS Plants Database.