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Superb Beardtongue, Superb Penstemon

Penstemon superbus

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon (PEN-stem-on) (Info)
Species: superbus (soo-PER-bus) (Info)
Synonym:Penstemon puniceus



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Huntington Beach, California

Moss Beach, California

Golden, Colorado

Las Vegas, Nevada

Rodeo, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon

Dripping Springs, Texas

Santaquin, Utah

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 21, 2012, marasri from Dripping Springs, TX wrote:

I have been growing this plant for 8 years in a sun/part bright shade gravelly spot under a tall cedar tree. We have a alkaline limestone soil and it never gets water and it seeded out very nicely with the winter rains. I think it really likes the top dressing of crushed granite to germinate in. Usually One plant seems to die off but then I get another plant, so I have not had to buy another plant in 8 years. This year I have more than just a one germinating seed. Must be the added granite. It is a sweet desert penstemon and very xeric. I am going to try it in full sun this year. I have seedlings to spare some experimentation with the brutal elements..