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Penstemon, Bunchleaf Penstemon, Chaparral Penstemon, Foothill Penstemon 'Margarita BOP'

Penstemon heterophyllus

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



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Dark Blue


Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Bonsall, California

Castro Valley, California

Chico, California

China Lake Acres, California

Fairfax, California

Knights Landing, California

Long Beach, California

Orinda, California

Paradise, California

Perris, California

Ridgecrest, California

Sacramento, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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''


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!!


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!


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.