Last year we bought a lot of penstemons (four were actually from the year before). It was my understanding that they would attract hummingbirds… which I don’t think is correct. I see the hummingbirds visiting similar plants (cape fuchsias, hardy fuchsias, salvias, foxgloves), but I don’t see them using the penstemons. Bees love the things, though. What I like most about the penstemons is that, as long as one dead-heads them, they will keep blooming for months. Last year some kept it up until the first freeze in December!

In the last post I showed pictures of the front yard. Check it out to see more pictures of the penstemons.

Penstemon ‘Hidcote Pink’:

2013 Miscell 2228 Penstemon 'Hidcote Pink' 2013 Miscell 2150 Penstemon 'Hidcote Pink'

Penstemon barbatus ‘Riding Hood Red’:

2013 Miscell 1817 Penstemon barbatus 'Riding Hood Red' 2013 Miscell 1673 Penstemon barbatus 'Riding Hood Red'

Penstemon ‘Electric Blue’ (nestled amongst sweet alyssum):

2013 Miscell 2252 Penstemon 'Electric Blue' 2013 Miscell 2251 Penstemon 'Electric Blue' 2013 Miscell 2154 Penstemon 'Electric Blue' 2013 Miscell 2153 Penstemon 'Electric Blue'

Penstemon ‘Polaris Purple’:

2013 Miscell 2253 Penstemon 'Polaris Purple' 2013 Miscell 2244 Penstemon 'Polaris Purple' 2013 Miscell 2089 Penstemon 'Polaris Purple' 2013 Miscell 2088 Penstemon 'Polaris Purple'

Penstemon ‘Hopley’s Variegated’:

2013 Miscell 2243 Penstemon 'Hopley's Variegated' 2013 Miscell 2231 Penstemon 'Hopley's Variegated' 2013 Miscell 2149 Penstemon 'Hopley's Variegated'

Penstemon x hartwegii ‘Firebird’:

2013 Miscell 2239 Penstemon x hartwegii 'Firebird' 2013 Miscell 2143 Penstemon x hartwegii 'Firebird'

Penstemon ‘Laura’ (yes Laura!):

2013 Miscell 2250 Penstemon 'Laura' 2013 Miscell 2092 Penstemon 'Laura' 2013 Miscell 2091 Penstemon 'Laura'

‘Laura’ needs to be moved away from that bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Korball’ Blue Balloon) – the bluebeard is definitely pushing ‘Laura.’ I have a spot in mind.

Penstemon ‘Blackbird’:

2013 Miscell 2242 Phlox paniculata 'Peppermint Twist' and Penstemon 'Blackbird' 2013 Miscell 2142 Penstemon 'Blackbird'

Penstemon ‘Mother of Pearl’:

2013 Miscell 2236 Penstemon 'Mother of Pearl' 2013 Miscell 2145 Penstemon 'Mother of Pearl'

Penstemon ‘Loganberry Ice’:

2013 Miscell 2245 Penstemon 'Loganberry Ice' 2013 Miscell 2050 red hot poker - Kniphofia uvaria 'Border Ballet' and Penstemon 'Loganberry Ice'

Penstemon x campanulatus ‘Garnet’:

2013 Miscell 2232 Penstemon x campanulatus 'Garnet' 2013 Miscell 2148 Penstemon x campanulatus 'Garnet' 2013 Miscell 2052 Penstemon x campanulatus 'Garnet'

Penstemon x hartwegii ‘Blue Midnight’:

2013 Miscell 2238 Penstemon x hartwegii 'Blue Midnight' 2013 Miscell 2144 Penstemon x hartwegii 'Blue Midnight'

Penstemon ‘Amelia Jayne’

2013 Miscell 2246 Penstemon 'Amelia Jayne' 2013 Miscell 2090 Penstemon 'Amelia Jayne'

I may have future penstemon posts, because I definitely am going to keep photographing them!

Penstemons are sometimes called “beard tongues” or “beardtongues,” but I always simply call them penstemons. They are evergreen-ish, but as Ciscoe Morris says, and as you can see in a previous post, it is good to give them a pruning in early spring.