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PENSTEMON strictus

Image of Penstemon strictus

James H. Schutte

Family

Scrophulariaceae

Botanical Name

PENSTEMON strictus

Plant Common Name

Rocky Mountain Penstemon

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Considered the showiest of the brilliant blue penstemons, this species rivals the most elegant border perennials. Its beauty disguises a truly rugged constitution required for any native of the Rocky Mountains. Its range extends over parts of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico in the pinyon-juniper, scrub oak and aspen plant communities. Tolerance of high altitude makes this a perfect choice for resort towns in the Sierra Nevada and other ranges of the west.

Densely held blue purple flowers line the two foot stems above basal leaves that lie flat on the ground. This perennial spreads actively by stolons to create larger patches that exhibit truly outstanding color over four weeks in summer. This is a longer lived species which can be expected to thrive for six or seven years if blooms are promptly dead headed and no seed allowed to form. Consider this the queen of dryland mountain gardens and a centerpiece of any composition.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 10, 11, 12, 13

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    24"-30" / 61.0cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    0"-0" / 0.0cm - 0.0cm (24)

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    Western United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Blue, Blue Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes