Theodore Payne California Native Plant Database




Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis

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Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis
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Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis
Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis
Enlarge
Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis
Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis
Enlarge
Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis

Species Name: Penstemon spectabilis
Common Name: Showy or Royal Penstemon

The most spectacular of the penstemons. A must for any drought tolerant garden. Occasional water lengthens bloom season but may shorten the plant's lifespan. Prune after blooms to promote new growth.

Plant Family: Scrophulariaceae
Plant Type: Perennial
Height by Width: 4' H x 4' W
Growth Habit: Upright, sometimes sprawling
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Preference: Well-draining, rocky
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 7,500'
Flower Season: Spring/Summer
Flower Color: Blue/violet
Endangered?: Not listed
Distribution: Transverse and Peninsular Ranges of Southern California; Mexico
Natural Habitat: Gravelly and sandy slopes, Banks of washes, Coastal Sage Scrub, Chaparral, Oak Woodland below 7500'

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Care and Maintenance


History
  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "A magnificent plant growing to a height of 3 to 6 feet. The flowers are in long spikes and are the richest combination of blue and purple. Does best in a rather dry sandy or gravelly soil. Gallon cans, 35c."
Other Names
References
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.
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