Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Small's Penstemon, Pink Beardtongue
Penstemon smallii

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

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By gregr18
Thumbnail #1 of Penstemon smallii by gregr18

By TomH3787
Thumbnail #2 of Penstemon smallii by TomH3787

By Gerris2
Thumbnail #3 of Penstemon smallii by Gerris2

By wendyelsey
Thumbnail #4 of Penstemon smallii by wendyelsey

By wendyelsey
Thumbnail #5 of Penstemon smallii by wendyelsey

By wendyelsey
Thumbnail #6 of Penstemon smallii by wendyelsey

By claypa
Thumbnail #7 of Penstemon smallii by claypa

There are a total of 12 photos.
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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive plantaholicsnursery On Feb 17, 2007, plantaholicsnursery from Loganville, GA wrote:

A great all round plant for the perennial border. The flowers are not pink. They are purple. And by the way, the photo introduced as P. smallii by TomH3787 is actually Penstemon canescens, not P. smallii. No offense intended.

Positive Gerris2 On Dec 8, 2004, Gerris2 from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

Bumble bees worked the flowers heavily. My third-year plants flowered so heavily they needed to be tied up a bit to keep the flowers off of the ground. A big flush of color in late spring that tapers off through the heat of summer then resumes in early to mid-fall. One of the few Penstemon species to survive east coast wet winters and summers. My plants did not have one bit of pink in their flowers.


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

Denver, Colorado
Atlanta, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Cornelia, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Loganville, Georgia
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)
Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Burns, Tennessee
Kalama, Washington

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