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Products > Penstemon 'Midnight'
 
Penstemon 'Midnight' - Beard Tongue
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Scrophulariaceae (Figworts)
Origin: North America
Flower Color: Blue Violet
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Synonyms: [P. 'Russian River']
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Penstemon 'Midnight' (Beard Tongue) - We have grown this durable and attractive bedding Penstemon for nearly 20 years and it still remains one of our most favorite. From the large dark-colored flowers and healthy deep green foliage this long-lived cultivar is sure to please. It is an evergreen perennial or sub-shrub to 3 feet tall with purple-tinged stems heavily clothed with 4 inch long lance-shaped dark green leaves with slight dentations towards the tips. The large trumpet-shaped bluish-purple flowers are 1 1/8 inch long by 1 inch wide with a lavender throat striped in purple (lacks the white common in other cultivars) and purple-tinged dark green calyces. The flowers, up to 7 in a cluster are held on dark-stemmed dense branched terminal inflorescences (cyme). The flowers appear in a succession of flowering peaks from late spring until fall and often appear year-round in coastal gardens. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies into the garden. Plant in full sun along the coast and provide some light shade inland. Tolerates and even thrives in poor soils and alkaline conditions but requires relatively good drainage. Can survive very dry conditions in cooler coastal gardens but looks better with occasional irrigation and requires it in hotter locations. Pinch plants after the first bloom to promote a quick re-bloom and cut back hard in winter to encourage a new flush of dense growth in spring. While extremely showy, Border Penstemons are notably short lived and for plantings to look best, they should be replanted every 3-5 years. Hardy to below 15 F and even much lower if soil is not moist. The Bedding or Border Penstemons are now considered to have a complex parentage involving Penstemon cobaea, P. hartwegii, P. campanulata, P. gentianoides and P. isophyllus. Hands down our best seller. The origins of this plant are unknown and there is some speculation that it is the same as 'Russian River'.  This description is based on our research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery and our own landscape plantings and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments we receive from others and appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Penstemon 'Midnight'
 
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