Botanical Name: Penstemon spectabilis
Common Name: Royal Beard Tongue  
Plant photo of: Penstemon spectabilis
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Water Saving Tip:

Different areas of your landscape have different water requirements.

Shrubs need much less water than lawns and drip systems should never be scheduled on the same program with lawns.

Establish separate watering schedules for those areas.

California Native Plant
  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Shrub, Perennial


Height Range



Flower Color

Blue, Lavender, Purple


Flower Season

Spring, Summer


Leaf Color

Green, Grey Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Full, Half





Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Loam, Rocky


Soil Condition

Average, Poor, Well-drained, Dry


Soil pH



Adverse Factors


Design Styles

English Cottage, Meadow, Mediterranean, Ranch, Spanish, Wild Garden


Accenting Features

Showy Flowers


Seasonal Interest

Spring, Summer


Location Uses

Background, Perennial Border, Shrub Border, Parking Strip, Patio, Raised Planter, With Rocks


Special Uses

Cut Flowers, Filler, Mass Planting, Naturalizing


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Jerry Sortomme Editor
Photographer: Susan Frommer
  • Description

  • Notes

This shrubby perennial produces spectacular blue-purple tubular flowers on spikes, which is quite attractive to hummingbirds. Royal beard tongue can reach a mature size of about 3-4' tall and wide. Native to southern California from 2-6000' Best planted in the fall. Spring to summer bloomer.
Planting: 1. Dig a hole 1" less the depth and 2 times the width of the container. 2. Fill hole with water, let soak. 3. Set root ball in hole. 4. Fill hole halway with native soil and water. 5. Finish backfilling hole, build basin and water.