Rock Penstemon Scientific Name:Penstemon baccharifolius
History/general species info: Also known as Baccharis-leaf Penstemon, Red Penstemon, Limestone Beardtongue. The name "pentstemon" originates from Greek language. It means "five" (penta) "stamens" (stamon). Native Americans used the roots to treat toothache and painful injuries, and to prevent inflammation and accelerate healing of the open wounds. Pentstemons are very popular in horticulture and widspread in Euorpean gardens. Hundreds of cultivars of pentstemon have been created since the beginning of the 19th century. A perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than 2 years.
Characteristics: Perennial. Small shrub. Drought tolerant. Sun to part shade. Suitable for xeriscaping. Cherry red spiking tubular flowers. Dark green leaves that are thick and toothed. A xeric plant native to areas with rocky limestone outcrops, and will not thrive well in good, fertile or heavy clay soils. Does well along a dry creek bed or rain garden with elevated berms of rock or stone. Attracts hummingbirds and is browsed by deer. Ideal shelter for the small birds.
Planting / Care: Drought tolerant. Not deer tolerant. Can be cut back to maintain a dense, bushy shape. Avoid overwatering. Grows well in rock gardens that have good drainage. Helpful for the roots to be in the shade in the afternoon.