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Small's Penstemon, Beardtongue 'Violet Dusk'

Penstemon smallii

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon (PEN-stem-on) (Info)
Species: smallii (SMAL-ee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Violet Dusk



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:

Grow outdoors year-round


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

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

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

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

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Atlanta, Georgia

Plainfield, Illinois

Norton, Massachusetts

Pinconning, Michigan

Saint James, Missouri

Windsor, New York

Cary, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Lakewood, Ohio

Lima, Ohio

Port Dover, Ontario

Campobello, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 13, 2016, Doctorm from Charlotte, NC wrote:

Penstemon Violet Dusk, nice plant, looks to me like a hybrid with P. smallii and P. laevigata, or straight P. laevigata. It not at all typical P. smallii. Larry Mellichamp


On Jun 9, 2010, Tammylp from Lima, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a carefree plant and is lovely when in bloom (picture). In Spring, it begins to grow but appears weedy until it becomes full grown and flowers. Then before its bloom time is finished, foliage begins to deteriorate; so I cut it back, however the new foliage is not attractive...just much weedier looking than other penstemons I have. It gets moved to the back this year.


On Apr 6, 2010, kerrystack from Lakewood, OH wrote:

Bought this on clearance from some big box chain last year. Planted it and forgot it. Weeding this year's garden and noticed it growing. Apparently doesn't need pampering through a zone 5 winter ;)