Common Name: bearded penstemon
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Reddish-orange
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Avoid wet, poorly-drained soils. Remove spent flowering racemes to prolong bloom. Plants may be cut back to basal foliage after flowering to improve appearance of the planting.
‘Jingle Bells’ may be grown from seed and may self-seed in the garden in optimum growing conditions.
Penstemon barbatus, commonly called southwestern penstemon, is native to rocky slopes and open woodlands from Utah and Colorado to Arizona, Texas and Mexico. It is a clump-forming perennial that typically grows 1.5-3’ tall. Loose terminal racemes of reddish-orange, two-lipped, tubular flowers (to 2” long) atop erect, rigid stems bloom from late spring well into summer. Clasping, narrow, lance-shaped to linear, willow-like, medium green stem leaves (2-6” long). Oblong to ovate basal foliage generally retains some green color over winter.
Genus name comes from the Greek words penta meaning five and stemon meaning stamen in reference to each flower having five stamens (four are fertile and one is sterile).
Specific epithet means bearded or with long weak hairs.
Penstemons are sometimes commonly called beard tongues because the sterile stamen has a tuft of small hairs.
‘Jingle Bells’ features bright scarlet flowers.
No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot can occur in wet, poorly-drained soils. Leaf spots and rusts may also occur.
Sunny areas of borders or rock gardens. Naturalize in cottage gardens, native plant gardens, grassy areas and open woodland areas.