Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Beardtongue, Beard Tongue
Penstemon 'Stapleford Gem'

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon (PEN-stem-on) (Info)
Cultivar: Stapleford Gem
Additional cultivar information: (aka Sour Grapes - misapplied)
Hybridized by M. Fish

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

2 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 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By mystic
Thumbnail #1 of Penstemon  by mystic

By Wandasflowers
Thumbnail #2 of Penstemon  by Wandasflowers

By Joy
Thumbnail #3 of Penstemon  by Joy

By philomel
Thumbnail #4 of Penstemon  by philomel

By Kim_M
Thumbnail #5 of Penstemon  by Kim_M


3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Kim_M On May 23, 2010, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I am impressed..."Stapleford Gem" was covered in 3 feet of snow this past winter, lived outside in a pot, and has come back bigger and stronger. It is cold hardy at least to 6b (in my findings).

Positive jamie68 On Jul 11, 2005, jamie68 from Vancouver, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This Penstemon is one of the most prolific of the 10 or so I have in my beds! Beautiful, long-lasting blooms, above nice medium green foliage. I look forward to seeing this plant every summer, and am rewarded with 3 solid months of bloom....July - September!!

Positive ambest On May 20, 2004, ambest from Riverside, CA wrote:

This plant does so well in my so. cal garden, in the winter, I cut them back with a weed-eater. They will become a groundcover if you let them run wild. Pretty flowes, easy to transplant.

Neutral Baa On Aug 31, 2002, Baa wrote:

A stunning cultivar.

Has long, lance shaped, mid-green leaves. Bears tubular, bluish-deep purple flowers borne over summer.

Flowers June - September

Loves a well drained soil in sun or light shade. Isn't very hardy so bring inside before it gets really cold or mulch heavily in milder climates.

Sometimes P. 'Stapleford Gem' is sold as 'Sour Grapes', 'Stapleford Gem' has whitish lower lobes.


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

Mesa, Arizona
Atlanta, Georgia
Peachtree City, Georgia
Ewing, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Bremerton, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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