Penstemon barbatus (Cav.) Roth
Scarlet Bugler, Beard-lip Penstemon, Beard-lip Beardtongue, Red Penstemon, Red Beardtongue, Goldenbeard Penstemon, Goldenbeard Beardtongue, Saint Joseph's Staff, Varita De San Jose
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
Synonym(s): Penstemon barbatus var. coccineus
USDA Symbol: PEBA2
Slender, bilaterally symmetrical, scarlet flowers hanging slightly in a long open cluster above sparsely leaved stems. Brilliant scarlet flowers are borne in profusion on the 1-3 ft. stalks of this penstemon. Leaves are paired and the flowers are two-lipped.
This species is one of several penstemons with scarlet corollas. The genus name, from the Greek pen ("almost") and stemon ("thread"), refers to the slender fifth, sterile stamen.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
DistributionUSA: AZ , CO , NM , TX , UT
Native Distribution: Sonora in Mexico, north through Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas to Utah and Colorado
Native Habitat: Mesas; mountains
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Attracts hummingbirds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed.
Seed Treatment: Germination is best with cold-moist stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
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From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Tohono Chul Park, Inc. - Tucson, AZ
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Penstemon barbatus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Penstemon barbatus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Penstemon barbatus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff