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Firecracker Penstemon

Penstemon eatonii

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon (PEN-stem-on) (Info)
Species: eatonii (ee-TON-ee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Penstemon eatonii var. undosus



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer




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:

Chandler, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Saint David, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)

Burlingame, California

Richmond, California

Durango, Colorado

Hotchkiss, Colorado

Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Priest River, Idaho

Hebron, Kentucky

Hudson, New Hampshire

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Sayre, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas

Belton, Texas

Bertram, Texas

Edinburg, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Ogden, Utah

Riverton, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Santaquin, Utah

Spokane, Washington

Hudson, Wisconsin

Laramie, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 15, 2010, blackcanyon from Hotchkiss, CO wrote:

I've got penstemon eatonii in the garden. It's a wonderful plant that doesn't mind a bit (I wouldn't say "thrives") neglect. I've had it rebloom consistently if you cut off the spent stalk. Leave some stalk and it will spread from seed. It is NOT evergreen here in zone 5'ish of western CO. Always dies back to ground (just like penstemon pinifolius). The hummingbirds adore this. I've got many other penstemon cultivars, but this one is THE favorite. Do not overwater or you will have root rot and possibly winter kill. It likes it high and dry.


On Jun 15, 2009, Meredith79 from Southeastern, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Grew this from seed in 2007, it is in bloom now for the first time. A hummingbird has been at them daily. I would like to get a lot of plants going because they are rather dainty and I think you need a lot for them to stand out in the garden.


On Jun 24, 2007, dicentra63 from West Valley City, UT (Zone 6b) wrote:

A non-hybridized wildflower, you can find this penstemon growing wild in the mountains in the Rocky Mountain west.

It's happy in bad soil, hot sun, and little water. Blooms mid-spring.