PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.

Slender Blue Beard Tongue
Penstemon procerus

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon (PEN-stem-on) (Info)
Species: procerus (PRO-ker-us) (Info)


Alpines and Rock Gardens



under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

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


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer





Other details:

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

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly 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:

Wasilla, Alaska

Richmond, California

Parker, Colorado

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 13, 2008, altagardener from Calgary, AB (Zone 3b) wrote:

From E. H. Moss (1959), rev. J. G. Packer (1983), Flora of Alberta:
"Stems slender, 1.5-4 dm high, often decumbent at base, glabrous or puberulent; basal leaves petioled, generally oblanceolate, glabrous; stem-leaves oblanceolate or lanceolate, sessile, entire; inflorescence spike-like and compact, or interrupted below; calyx 5 mm long, the lobes cuneate or obovate, abruptly cuspidate, scarious-margined and erose; corolla deep purplish-blue, rarely pinkish or white, 6-10mm long". Range: "Meadows and open woods. sYuk, BC to Sask, swMan, s to Calif, Colo".

Easy to grow in the garden here, and long-lived.


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

This is an attractive beard tongue for the rock garden and one that is reasonably tolerant of wet-winter areas. It survived for 4 years in my Newfoundland garden and I am starting it again as I really liked the intense rich, blue-violet flowers. This species can also tolerate more acidic soil than most penstemon.