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PlantFiles: Firecracker Penstemon
Penstemon eatonii

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

Synonym:Penstemon eatonii var. undosus

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

18 members have or want this plant for trade.


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:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive blackcanyon 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.

Positive Meredith79 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.

Positive dicentra63 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.


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
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

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