Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Foothill Penstemon, Chaparral Penstemon, Bunchleaf Penstemon
Penstemon heterophyllus 'Margarita BOP'

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon (PEN-stem-on) (Info)
Species: heterophyllus (het-er-oh-FIL-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Margarita BOP

One vendor has this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

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)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

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:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 13 photos.
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5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MulchingMan On Nov 5, 2013, MulchingMan from Eugene, OR wrote:

This is one of the best selections for the Pacific Northwest, as it can take a lot of water for a penstemon. That last part is important, as penstemons generally don't like summer water and this cultivar is still not quite garden tolerant in our clay soils. They're easy to kill if planted too closely to a watered lawn. If you mulch them with gravel and plant a few feet from the lawn in a full-sun location, you'll probably be OK. Alternatively, these do nicely in pots with "cactus soil" mix and extra drainage holes. They grow rather quickly, look good all year, and the purple/blue flowers are enjoyed by both hummingbirds and humans.

Positive BajaBlue On Jul 15, 2009, BajaBlue from Rancho Santa Rita, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Gorgeous, almost iridescent, blue and purple flowers. Long blooming and long-lived.

Zone: 6-9
Height: 18-24''

Positive jamie68 On Jul 1, 2006, jamie68 from Vancouver, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

One of the smaller Penstemon....but a beauty! The flowers have a bit of an opalescent sheen to them, and are just so pretty, the plants stay nice and compact, they bloom forever(!!!), and are reliably perennial if given great drainage, and a collar of gravel to prevent water staying there - but otherwise....GREAT!!

Positive karenpierce On Jul 16, 2005, karenpierce from Alsea, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant does quite well in my climate. I have included it in a full sun bed with an organic fertilizer and it has taken right off!

Positive KaperC On Apr 7, 2005, KaperC from No. San Diego Co., CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

Margarita BOP [Bottom of the Porch] has beautiful flowers and is loved by hummingbirds as all penstemons are.

Curious about the name? The plant comes from Las Pilitas Nursery, where they say, "Penstemon 'Margarita BOP' was a seedling that came up sometime in the early 1980's. It is a hybrid between Penstemon heterophyllus and Penstemon laetus. Every year it would flower and be gorgeous, clear sky blue, fading to purple, at the bottom of our front porch."

Soil, sunlight, and watering can all change the flower color.


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

Bonsall, California
Castro Valley, California
Chico, California
Fairfax, California
Knights Landing, California
Long Beach, California
Orinda, California
Paradise, California
Perris, California
Ridgecrest, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California (2 reports)
San Leandro, California
San Rafael, California
Ventura, California
Baltimore, Maryland
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Eugene, Oregon
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Salt Lake City, Utah
Olympia, Washington
Sumner, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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