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Penstemon heterophyllus ‘GMR White’

If you’re looking to add a neutral color to your garden palette, Penstemon heterophyllus ‘GMR White’ is a wonderful choice!

It’s advertised as being a rare and unusual color seen in penstemons, which normally feature bright reds, blues, pinks, and purples.

‘GMR White’ is an elegant, white-colored penstemon that starts out as a creamy yellow bud. They’re considered a floriferous plant that blooms in abundance all season long. Most penstemon are native to the west, ranging from Canada to Mexico. They can be found in deserts, mountains, forests, and foothills. This particular variety of heterophyllus is closely related to the foothill penstemon (CA native).

The bell-shaped, wide-mouthed flowers open in loose spikes at the end of a stem, sitting gracefully atop a wand of narrow-pointed leaves and glossy green foliage. ‘GMR White’ blooms heavily from early spring to summer. Deadhead them regularly to induce more flowering. Prune them again in March when new growth begins.

You can care for them as you would most penstemons. They will thrive in full sun (partial shade in hotter climates), well-drained soil, and little water once established. Be careful not to overwater. ‘GMR White’ has a fast growth rate and with the right care, can easily grow 18-24” tall and wide. They will go dormant in summer drought and can be cut back halfway after flowering has finished. They’re hardy to 30°F.

A close up look at the green foliage and long, narrow leaves. (pictured above)

As a close relative to the native penstemon, ‘GMR White’ would pair well with other native trees and shrubs, such as manzanita, toyon, oaks, and lemonade berry. They’ll also be right at home with other shrub-like natives, such as sage brush (Artemisia californica), California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), California encelia (Encelica californica), sticky monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus), and penstemon. When planted en masse, they have an enchanting glow-like appearance and would be perfect in a moon garden. Their bushy, upright growth habit makes them great as an accent or border in rock gardens or near oak trees.

Small pollinators, like this bee, can climb right inside the tubular blooms! (pictured above)

Best of all, they’re deer resistant and attract many different pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. They’re also considered fire resistant!

The Sunset Western Garden Zones are zones 7-24.

This dependable, long-blooming perennial would be a fun, new plant to try out in your garden. We are currently growing Penstemon heterophyllus ‘GMR White’ in 4.5” rounds and 1 gallon containers.

(pictured above) Can you spot the happy face inside the blooms?


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