Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'
This burgundy-leaved cultivar is notorious for having true strains that maintain their color well, and seed-grown strains that don't do quite so well. Our specimen is probably in the latter class - as you can see in the photo, at blooming time the leaves are more green than burgundy. But heck, the flowers are pretty enough!
Our plant has proven to be quite long-lived – it was among the first inhabitants of our side garden, some eight years ago. Over the years, as its neighbors grew in bulk, it almost got elbowed into oblivion, when I noticed its plight and relocated it to our driveway bed, a better match for its stature. It's been happy there for nearly ten years now.
Meanwhile, this plant popped up a few years ago in our rock garden. It has plain green leaves, but its flowers put it in the P. digitalis camp. No idea how it arrived, but it's welcome for its exuberant late-spring bloom.
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
Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list
About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'
Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|Katie Bosch||Jul 28, 2015||I bought the Plant Beardtongue Husker Red for the first time. My question is do I deadhead the flowers or leave them on for Seeds. Great web side.|
That's up to you. Do you want seeds? They are not likely to come true from seed (that is: the purple leaf color will not be as strong in the offspring), so you're not losing much by deadheading. Not sure if you'll get extra flowers, but the plant will put more energy into its vegetative growth, which means it may grow stronger next year.
- Seed from 'Husker Red' ('08 garden). Baggy 70F with light (some G, 11-15d)
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July 06, 2012