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Penstemon canescens

Penstemon canescens
Common name gray beard-tongue
Family plantaginaceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers lavender (May)
Size 18"
Light sun
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil
From seed cold-stratify, then germinate at room temperature
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripenslate October

This plant came to my garden as seeds labeled P. cardwellii, but it's clearly not that. According to a self-described penstemaniac, it's either P. canescens or P. hirsutus. I'll go with the former for now... The flowers are similar to those of P. hirsutus pygmaeus, but they are carried higher above the foliage, which is rather narrow-leaved.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Read about all the penstemon species in our garden

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '01 trade. Pot set outside in October, no germination
  2. Same seed as above. Baggy 35F (10w) - 70F (5w; 1G, 7d). Seedling never developed
  3. Seed from '04 garden. Baggy 35F (10w) - 65F (80%G, 4-11d)
  4. Same seed as above. Baggy 35F (10w) - 65F (30%G, 3-5d)
  5. Seed from '07 trade. Baggy 35F (10w) - 70F (90%G, 3-6d)

Original traded seed may have had low viability. Light exposure does not appear to be necessary.

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