Penstemon spectabilis Thurb. ex A. Gray
Showy penstemon, Showy beardtongue, Royal penstemon, Royal beardtongue
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
USDA Symbol: PESP3
This is an extremely showy perennial. Its leafy stems rise to 3 ft. and bear a spectacular display of up to 100 flowers on the upper half of the stem. The inflated, tubular flowers range in color from lavender-purple to pink. The two rounded lobes of the upper lip and the three lobes of the lower lip are usually blue, while the inside of the flower is white. Pairs of bright-green, toothed leaves clasp the stem.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
Native Distribution: Cismontane slopes in s. CA
Native Habitat: Dry washes & disturbed areas below 6000 ft.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Overwatered plants are susceptible to root rot. This species often self-seeds.
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Propagation by stem cuttings and root division is possible but seed is the easiest method. Plant in spring. Division should be in the fall; softwood cutting should be taken in summer.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Germination is best with cold-moist stratification but no treatment may give satisfactory results.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Penstemon spectabilis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Penstemon spectabilis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Penstemon spectabilis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2014-07-17
Research By: TWC Staff