Penstemon spectabilis

Showy penstemon

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



This dramatic penstemon has an unusual range that includes the pacific side of the coastal mountains from the transverse ranges south into Baja. It does not extend much into the interior deserts, but does intergrade (hybridize) with its desert cousin Penstemon pseudospectabilis where their ranges overlap along mountain crests. A couple of good places to see showy penstemon are the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sunland, LA County, and Daley Ranch in Escondido, San Diego County. In spring, showy penstemon sends up spires of lance-shaped leaves that encircle the stem and join together. The large tubular flowers appear along the top of each stem. The flowers are lavender or violet. Spent flowers may be trimmed off to encourage additional blooms, or left to produce abundant seed. showy penstemon, like most penstemon, prefers well-draining soil, ample sun and occasional water. Another common trait of this group is a relatively short life span. Three or four years is a reasonable expectation.


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