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May 25, 2017

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Beard-tongue 'Dark Towers'
Penstemon digitalis 
 

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(What's my zone?)
Zone: 3 to 8
Perennial
Vitals
EXPOSURE
Full Sun to Part Shade
BLOOM SEASON
Blooms early summer to mid-summer
SIZE
36"
30"
GREENHOUSE
LOCATION
(click for map)
Cultivar Notes - 'Dark Towers'
Glossy bronze-red foliage is topped with masses of pink flowers in July and August. Tolerates high heat and humidity. Compared to 'Husker's Red' this beauty is taller and has much darker foliage which stays darker.
Genus Notes - Penstemon
Penstemons, related to Chelone, were recognized as a separate genus in 1762. The name refers to the unusual fact that all its species have flowers with five stamens--pente stemon in Greek.

Penstemon is the largest genus of flowering plants native to continental North America. Of the 250 species, all but two are found here. The general rule among Penstemons is the larger the flower, the more tender the plant. Fortunately, the newer hybrids have been bred with an eye to greater hardiness.

Penstemon offer large spikes of tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Most bloom heavily in early summer, and a few continue to produce fresh spikes into fall.

These hardy and tender, clump forming perennials bring vertical contrast to the typical rounded, mounded fare of perennial borders. They do not tolerate having wet feet over winter.

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