Penstemon centranthifolius

Scarlet bugler penstemon

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Medium, Well-draining
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 3' X 2'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



The scarlet bugler grows in mountainous settings in the coastal, transverse and peninsular ranges from San Benito County down into Baja California. It has a sparse presence in other areas, but always in mountainous settings, like all penstemon, where it thrives in full sun and fairly well draining soil. The scarlet bugler grows as a whorl of lance shaped, waxy leaves with a blue-green hue. In the spring the inflorescences rise to about three feet, with opposite leaves and a fiery display of bright red tubular flowers. I had the pleasure of discovering several large plants in bloom in Ventana Wilderness, and can say that the bloom is truly spectacular. The tubular flowers are magnets for hummingbirds, or course. As with many perennials, additional blooms may be stimulated by dead heading, i.e. removing spent flowers before seeds develop.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen