Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Penstemon baccharifolius (Rock penstemon)
Anderson, Wynn

Penstemon baccharifolius

Penstemon baccharifolius Hook.

Rock Penstemon, Rock Beardtongue, Cut-leaf Penstemon, Cut-leaf Beardtongue, Baccharis-leaf Penstemon, Baccharis-leaf Beardtongue

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: peba

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Clustered spikes of cherry-red, tubular flowers line the 1-1 1/2+ ft. stalks of this almost shrubby perennial. Baccharis-leaf Beardtongue or Rock Penstemonís dark-green leaves are thick and toothed, and sometimes are quite hairy.

This beardtongue attracts hummingbirds and is browsed by deer.


From the Image Gallery

43 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


Native Distribution: Central and west Texas south into Chihuahua
Native Habitat: Limestone crevices & bluffs. Limestone bluffs of the Edwards Plateau and Trans-Pecos. Well-drained limestone.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Soil Description: Well-drained, limestone soils. Rocky, Gravelly, Sandy, Limestone-based.
Conditions Comments: Clustered spikes of cherry-red, tubular flowers line the stalks of this almost shrubby perennial. Baccharis-leaf beardtongue or rock penstemon's dark-green leaves are thick and toothed, and sometimes are quite hairy. This beardtongue attracts hummingbirds and is browsed by deer.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Take cuttings on new growth in spring or on cut back plants in the nursery. Pot up rooted cuttings right away as they decline fast under the mist. Works from seed too, but grows very slowly and seed is hard to collect.
Seed Treatment: Germination is best with cold-moist stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Drought tolerant rock penstemon can be cut back to maintain a dense, bushy shape. Good drainage is critical to avoid root rot. Protection from direct west sun is helpful. Avoid overwatering.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Tohono Chul Park, Inc. - Tucson, AZ
NPSOT - Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-MLE-007 Collected 2005-08-31 in Terrell County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
LBJWC-MLE-7 Collected 2009-09-01 in Terrell County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

2 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers (1998) Howard, D.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

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

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.6 - Members Respond to Grasslands Appeal, Wildflower Center Opening Midwest Regional...

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back