Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Shrubby Penstemon
Penstemon fruticosus

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon (PEN-stem-on) (Info)
Species: fruticosus (froo-tih-KOH-sus) (Info)

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

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

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
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:
Unknown - Tell us

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

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By kennedyh
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By Todd_Boland
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By daryl
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By daryl
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By hillfarm
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By hillfarm
Thumbnail #7 of Penstemon fruticosus by hillfarm


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive hillfarm On Nov 26, 2010, hillfarm from Quesnel, BC (Zone 4a) wrote:

Beautiful shrubby wildflower that shows up on rocky bluffs throughout the dry interior of B.C. Hardy at least to Zone 2; the common thing about every site where it thrives in the wild is the excellent drainage. I've added a few photos I took earlier this year, May 2010.

Positive Todd_Boland On Jan 22, 2005, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This has been another relatively long-lived penstemon for me. This species is a member of the dasyanthera section; most of which are evergreen sub-shrubs and natives of the Pacific Northwest. As a result, they are not as hardy as the great plains, Rockies or Great basin species. However, they are much more tolerant of wet climates than most penstemosn and actually do better in soils that are more acidic. For gardeners in eastern North America, the dasyanthera section are the best penstemons for us to grow. Other species in this group are P. cardwellii, P. rupicola, P. lyalii, P. scoulei and P. newberryii.

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