Smooth blue beardtongue (Penstemon nitidus)

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Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27
Smooth blue beardtongue (Penstemon nitidus)

Penstemon nitidus, a western beauty... it is happy and long-lived here in garden conditions (which probably makes sense, as it is locally native).

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

I grew P. nitidus many years ago when I lived with my parents up until my college years.  Nothing says blue like P. nitidus, such an outstanding species.  I cannot attest to this plant's longevity in cultivation, as frankly my rock garden at my parents house went into abandon once I was away at college, but it left an indelible impression on my memory as one of the most outstanding Penstemon species ever.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Gosh, I was first exposed to rock garden plants in my college years.  And it was many years after that that I took a heavy interest in them.  No wonder you all know so much!

I think I have P. nitidus seeds again.  Hope they turn out to be what they're labeled this time.  A most intense flower color, even though it is not dark hue.  I've never seen a bad pic of the species, and Lori, you sure can grow 'em!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Well, thank you, Rick, but it's certainly not anything I do - they just like to grow here!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Boland
Boland's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-25

Breaks my heart...I can't it in Newfoundland.

Here is a pic of a purple-flowered one I found in southern Alberta.  It certainly jumped out from all the blue ones around it.

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

HughGmail
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-07-08

P. nitidus is certainly one of the harbinger's of Spring along the Colorado Front Range.  Based on the replies above it appears to be a truly global must for the rock garden!  I have P. nitidus growing in a sand/gravel mix in the rock garden, as well as in a lean rock hard dry border, next to cacti of all sorts.

Hugh Mac Millan
Former NARGS Web Master, Moderator
Eriogonum enthusiast
Zone 5+- - Front Range, Colorado (Denver area)

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

After about 7 years in the ground, my old plants started to decline...  so (for once!) I took appropriate action.  I scattered the copious seed they produced around the area - most of it ended up down along the sidewalk... but all the better for viewing, I suppose!  Now about 3 years later, the young plants should soon be blooming en masse!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

I love this Penstemon also. I only have one plant that I moved form North Dakota eight years ago,it is in great shape yet, but has not seeded around. My springs may be too dry to get good germination.

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Penstemon nitidus, still doing well out along the sidewalk, from an initial planting of a couple of purchased plants (grown from local seed) in 2002:

This self-sown swarm has developed a lot of pinky tones in the flowers:

          

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Tingley
Title: Member
Joined: 2013-01-07

I haven't succeeded in getting this one to germinate from any seed I had.... still hope to add it to the growing mix of penstemons in the garden here.

Southwest Nova Scotia, zone 6b or thereabouts

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