Pink Wild Snapdragon, Scented Penstemon, Palmer's Penstemon

Penstemon palmeri

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon (PEN-stem-on) (Info)
Species: palmeri (PALM-er-ee) (Info)
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Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 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)

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:

Pale Pink

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem 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

Seed Collecting:

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


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

El Mirage, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Concord, California

Richmond, California

San Jose, California

Aurora, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Durango, Colorado

Kiowa, Colorado

Sparks, Nevada

Edgewood, New Mexico

Elephant Butte, New Mexico

Farmington, New Mexico

Belton, Texas

Central, Utah

Magna, Utah

Riverton, Utah

Santaquin, Utah

Springdale, Utah

Vancouver, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 29, 2010, ouiski from Ridgway, CO wrote:

This beautiful plant came up in my courtyard garden between two flagstones and under a table! It's a hot and dry spot with no irrigation and has only about an inch of space! It's about 18" tall and amazingly beautiful but I'm hoping to collect some seeds and sow them this fall in a more convenient spot. Still trying to figure out where it came from.


On Dec 24, 2009, CSchnack from Scottsdale, AZ wrote:

We grew Palmer's Penstemon in the 90s at a house we no longer live at. The first year it got to the size claimed by most nurseries, etc, but the 2nd year it far exceeded that. The flower stalks were touching the edge of the roof, which was about 8 feet tall, even with the arching stalks. The leaves grew to a pretty, silvery arching clump that was about 2 ft high and wide or maybe more. I've seen one specialty catalog nursery that says they will get to 6 ft. I have no idea what was so special about that site that the plant thrived so well. It was just the native unimproved clay and it was on a south facing wall so it got scorching heat in summer. Maybe that is what they like. We got it at the same time as some red flowered smaller penstemons that also did really well, also with no p... read more


On Sep 29, 2009, weedsfree from Magna, UT (Zone 7a) wrote:

Has a wonderful fragrance of grape juice. Mine got around 3-4 feet tall this year, and it was my first time growing it. The branches of mine did droop a bit, so next year I will need to support them. The seed pods take a while to ripen. Just a neat plant. Now that I know what it is that I was growing, I think it is even neater.


On May 18, 2009, angele wrote:

Have two 2-year old plants. First blooms on May 16th. My plants are under 2 feet tall including the bloomstalk. I hope they grow to the stated 4-6 feet because they were purchased with the idea of being tall. The flowers are sweetly scented - I just wish I didn't have to stoop to get a sniff. :-)
The plants stayed green over the winter.


On Mar 24, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is extremely xeric, and semi-evergreen in Zone 7.