Penstemon are an American native perennial with colorful tubular bell-shaped flowers. Blackbeard is an upright, compact, dark purple-leaved selection of what's sometimes called "beard tongue" that features pink flowers held on sturdy, dark purple stems. The blooms are highly attractive to hummingbirds and other pollinators. Mature plants will reach up to 3' tall with a 2' spread. Hummingbirds will come aboard to feast on the countless trumpet-shaped blossoms. Penstemon Blackbeard produces strong flower stems and longer, wide foliage blades that hold flowers upright all season. Will attract butterflies and hummingbirds and does well in a drier climate. Drought resistant once established. Waxy green foliage stays lush through summer's heat. Avoid too moist (wet feet). Penstemons tolerate drought, but 1 inch of water per week in the summer will keep plants vigorous and promote better blooming. Songbirds feast on the seed in fall and winter.
To ensure the thriving growth of Blackbeard Penstemon, plant it in well-draining soil with good air circulation. It prefers full sun to partial shade conditions. This plant is relatively drought-tolerant once established but will benefit from regular watering during dry periods. Deadheading spent flowers can prolong blooming and encourage new flower production.
At maturity, Blackbeard Penstemon typically reaches a height of 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) and spreads about 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) in width. It forms an upright, clumping habit and is ideal for borders, mixed perennial beds, or as a focal point in the garden. Blackbeard Penstemon is hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 8.
Penstemon species, including Blackbeard Penstemon (Penstemon 'Blackbeard'), are generally not considered toxic to humans or pets.