This hardy southwestern Texas native shrub offers lovely shape and color wherever it grows. Relative to some of its cousins in the Penstemon genus, P. baccharifolius remains compact reaching roughly 1.5 feet in height and width. Thick, glossy, dark green leaves with serrate edges grow from woody stems year-round. From late Spring into Summer, terminal spikes give rise to bell shaped flowers that are mostly coral pink with a hint of white in the center. Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies frequent these blooms!
The New Sunset Western Garden Book notes Climate Zones 10-13 as suitable habitat for P. baccharifolius. As is true of all Penstemons, this plant requires fast-draining soil; it will not perform well in saturated soil. It thrives in full sun (partial shade in especially hot areas) and little to moderate watering. Cutting back branches will encourage more compact, uniform growth. Allowing them to grow without maintenance will allow a more branching form as is seen in the wild. In a landscape design, P. baccharifolius performs well with other drought tolerant plants in rock gardens and areas with gravelly soil.
Right now we have P. baccharifolius coming into bud and bloom in gallon size pots. We would love to share more about this plant or any others we have on our availability right now—don’t hesitate to call or send an email with questions! As a final note, Clearwater Color Nursery is part of the SLO County Farm Trail and we are participating in a special event this Saturday (07/17/2021) with other local partners in agriculture. There will be tours and opportunities to learn about our process and check out some of our incredible plant material. For more information about the event and tickets, visit the website farmsteaded.com.