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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Penstemon fruticosus (Pursh) Greene
Bush penstemon, Shrubby beardtongue, Shrubby penstemon
USDA Symbol: PEFR3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
This is a low, compact, shrubby, semi-evergreen perennial with pairs of dark-green leaves, some of which turn reddish in the fall before dropping. A bushy plant, usually much broader than tall, with large, showy, pale lavender or pale blue-violet, bilaterally symmetrical flowers in crowded, narrow clusters at stem ends. Tubular rose-purple to lavender flowers extend horizontally in short, spike-like clusters. The entire plant is 6-16 in. tall.
In a genus with many beautiful species, this one may be the most spectacular. Bright green, leafy patches cascade down banks and between rocks, topped with a dense display of subtly shaded flowers that butterflies seem to find especially attractive.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
ID , MT , OR , WA , WY Canada: BC Native Distribution:
E. of the Cascade summits from s. B.C. to c. OR, e. to the Rockies of MT & WY Native Habitat:
Open, rocky or wooded foothill & higher elevation sites USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soil.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
BenefitUse Wildlife: Hummingbirds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagation by cuttings is quite easy. Seeds germinate without treatment, but yield is low. Young seedling tend to damp off.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff