Featured Plant


Penstemon, more commonly known as beardtongues, is a genus containing about 250 species of plants that are found both as wildflowers and in home gardens. This colourful plant is native to North America and common throughout the prairies, thriving best in hot, sunny conditions.    

Penstemon will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators to your garden. The plant’s tubular flowers appear in a variety of colours like white, pink, red, blue and purple. Penstemon grow one to three feet tall depending on the variety and are visually stunning when planted together in groups in gardens. 

Plant Penstemon in the spring, and expect flowers to bloom in early summer. These flowers should be planted in a location with full sun at least six to eight hours day and require a moderate amount of water. Penstemon require well-draining soil and will not thrive in wet conditions. Gardeners should not crowd these flowers; plants should be spaced one to three feet apart. Soil should be dug to about 12 – 15 inches deep and the diameter of the hole should be twice of that of the pot the plant came in from your local greenhouse. 

These plants are relatively low maintenance, although the flower bed should be weeded regularly to avoid crowding.  Penstemons do not suffer serious insect of disease problems. 

Penstemons can be found at the Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden at the Zoo.

Sources: Costa Farms | Missouri Botanical Garden | The Spruce