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Keckiella cordifolia

Keckiella cordifolia (Benth.) Straw

Heartleaf Keckiella, Heart-leaf Bush-beardtongue, Climbing Penstemon, Heartleaf Penstemon

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Synonym(s): Penstemon cordifolius

USDA Symbol: keco

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Heart-leaf Bush-beardtongue or Climbing Penstemon is a sprawling perennial that is evergreen in mild, wetter years or deciduous in less mild or drought conditions. The plant is vine-like, crawling through chaparral shrubs. Leaves are bright green and the tubular flowers are a showy red-orange.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Stems climbing, up to about 10 feet long.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: San Luis Obispo Co., s. through cismontane CA
Native Habitat: Dry, brushy slopes & canyons below 4000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: This species is drought tolerant and deer proof. Shrubby keckiellas tend to become straggly and may require drastic pruning.


Description: Propagate using half-woody cuttings, layering or seed.
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 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 resources

USDA: Find Keckiella cordifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Keckiella cordifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Keckiella cordifolia


Record Modified: 2023-02-15
Research By: TWC Staff

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