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Penstemon eatonii (Firecracker penstemon)
Cressler, Alan

Penstemon eatonii

Penstemon eatonii A. Gray

Firecracker Penstemon, Firecracker Beardtongue, Eaton's Penstemon, Eaton's Beardtongue

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: peea

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This perennialís striking feature is its scarlet flowers. Five to ten long, narrow, tubular blossoms top each of the numerous 2-3 ft. high stems. Leaves are tough, leathery, and deep green, arranged in pairs along the coarse, purplish stems.

Penstemon eatonii attracts hummingbirds to its tubular red flowers.


From the Image Gallery

29 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Green.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AZ , CA , CO , NM , NV , UT
Native Distribution: S.w. CO & UT to c. AZ & s.w. CA
Native Habitat: Mesas; fields; roadsides; dry, rocky slopes at lower elevations

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, gravelly soils.
Conditions Comments: This drought tolerant plant is excellent for dry, gravelly banks and background plantings.


Use Wildlife: Firecracker penstemon attracts hummingbirds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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


Description: Most successfully propagated by stratified seed, although root division in late fall is possible.
Seed Treatment: Stratify at 40 degrees for 1-2 months before planting.
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 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


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

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

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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