Penstemon "red riding hood"

Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

Does anyone know whether penstemon "Red Riding Hood" is a true red? Most pictures show it tending a bit toward the pink side? I'm looking for fire truck red flowers like Europeeana rose, or Bishop of Llandaff dahlia, or Beauty of Livermore poppy, or the truest red verbena or callibrachoa. Of course the catalogue descriptions say "bright red," but I've long ago stopped depending on that.


This message was edited Aug 20, 2013 4:29 PM

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Cardinal flowers and a red hollyhock that always gets rust is all I usually get even near that red , A burgundy Gailardia will sometimes get near that as will the (red poppy annual ) only for me that's it .
Good luck with your searching ^_^

This message was edited Aug 21, 2013 2:05 AM

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Lychnis chalcidonica (Maltese Cross) is a good fire engine red. I have had Penstemon 'Red Riding Hood'. I thought is was a ruby red not fire engine red.

Penstemon pinnifolius is more of a the hot red, but you live in Maine and it's more of a 'western' plant as it likes sharp drainage. Some Penstemon will be happy in the East, but all Penstemon are happy in the West.

I have seen the Penstemon pinnifolius just this summer in a Colorado garden. I believe it's the color of red you are looking for. The Lychnis chalcidonica is also a good warm red.

Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

Thanks for the info on Red Riding Hood and pinifolious. Pinifolius does look like the red I'm hoping for. Unfortunately, I see that I bought it 3 times from High Country (one pinifolius compactum) in 2002 and 2003, but it didn't survive. We have terrific drainage - sandy soil up where we are, but it can rain a LOT. When I went to look I see that I just kept trying High Country penstemons of various kinds back in the day... I do have a couple of penstemons that work well, but not those great strong colors. Thanks again!

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I suppose you know High Country Gardens was sold to ......I think American Meadows.
A couple more "warm red" flowers:
Echinacea 'Firebird'
Echinacea 'Tomato Soup'
Red Rose
Bluestone Perennials have a couple of red Penstemon-they would work in the "East". I don't think they're a warm enough red.

I have a Dianthus that is a warm red.

I have the Lychinis chalcidonica, and it is a very bright warm red. I really like it.

Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

Is your dianthus Desmond, by any chance? It's a wonderful plant for the front of my PG/CG.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I cannot remember the name of this particular DIianthus. I believe it was Dianthus deltoides but I don't remember the cultivar.

I took a picture of it. I need to load it in the ID forum. It's actually fire engine red.

Have you thought about Geum 'Blazing Star'?

Can't think what "PG/CG" is right now.

Thumbnail by birder17
Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

Perennial Garden/Cottage Garden.


Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

Almost all the Google search pictures for deltoides look to pink to me. It's not Desmond, because Desmond has very stiff narrow leaves. Very prickly. Is yours a biennial?

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Actually, it's supposed to be an annual I think. All of my dianthus come back as perennials-even Sweet William.

Edited to add: Well, maybe Sweet William is coming back from seed. I have had it bloom every year in the very same place.

This message was edited Aug 23, 2013 4:34 PM

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