Pronounciation: Pen-STE-mon PALL-mer-i
Sunset 8-13, 18-19
USDA 5-11 (arid regions only)
Landscape Use: Winter color, accent, landscape border, rock gardens, desert gardens.
Form & Character: Rosetting and upright, stiff and rigid, small but visually demanding.
Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial, clumping with upright flower spikes, 3 to 5 feet tall.
Foliage/texture: Grayish to glaucous green, glabrous, lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong leaves to 5 inches long, clasping, with or without petiole; medium texture.
Flowers & fruits: Flowers in spikes, corolla to 3/4 inch long, pink, abruptly inflated, staminode included, yellow bearded, fragrant; fruit small oblong-rounded.
Seasonal color: Palmer's penstemon bears striking spikes of pink flowers during February and March in Phoenix.
Temperature: Palmer's penstemon actively grows only during cooler time of year in lower desert climates.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained soils or else cultivate on the dry side.
Pruning: Remove spent flower spikes unless harvesting seed.
Disease and pests: Root rot only if soil poorly drained.
Additional comments: Palmer's penstemon is a wonderfully spectacular accent plant for winter and spring desert gardens. It's foliage is more glaucous than that of P. eatoni. It will reseed sometimes in landscape settings which is to your advantage. There are over 250 species in the genus Penstemon.