Davidson’s Penstemon Penstemon davidsonii
An often overlooked native perennial flower? Not anymore!
Introducing penstemons of which there are 270 species that range form Alaska to southern Guatemala.
This variety from the Figwort family (Scrophulariacaeae) can tolerate harsh conditions with a short growing season. This variety needs lose sandy to gravelly soil with really good drainage and prefers sun, but can tolerate some shade, although it will reduce flowering.
This herbaceous perennial has wooly anthers, which is described by the name “pen” meaning five, “stamen” meaning thread which the reproductive organ of the plant that contains pollen.
To pollinate this plant, birds and insects are attracted to the nectar. Bumblebees have the long tongues necessary for the tube-like flowers which are purple to blue-lavender in color.
Don’t miss this plant at our upcoming Bareroot Native Plant Sale!
Check out the information about Penstemons from page 15 written by OSU professor Wilbur Bluhm in Northwest Native Plant Journal from Hasens Northwest Native Plant Database.
Anna Beebe, 2019 KCD AmeriCorps Individual Placement
Photo Credit for Featured Image: Penstemon davidsoniil at Red Pass by Brew Books, CC BY-SA 2.0