Shrub Bear-Tongue
Penstemon fruticosus (Pursh) Greene

Shrub bear-tongue. Collected along the Lolo Trail from near Lolo Creek to Eldorado Creek near the mouth of Lunch Creek in Idaho Co., Idaho, on 15 Jun 1806. Synonymy: Penstemon lewisii Benth. (Source)

Shrub bear-tongue is an evergreen that grows from 6 to 20 inches tall and 30 to 40 inches wide. The plant is a woody, evergreen, multi-stemmed, compact, shrub, often in dense patches. Plants are covered with mauve-purple tubular flowers 1/2 inch broad and 1 1/2 inches long in late spring, forming a solid mound of color for several weeks. Most of the flowers grow on one side of the stem. Leaves are opposite, vary in shape, and are ofen lustrous. The mounded form of the plants is attractive throughout most of the year. Grows well in sandy soil in sunny places, with  well-drained, slightly acid soils from midľ to subalpine elevations in the Northern Rocky Mountain states. Penstemons have excellent cold winter and drought tolerance.  

Planting: The best seeding results are obtained from seeding in very early spring on heavy to medium textured soils. Germination may not occur until the second growing season. Flowering should not be expected until at least the second growing season. 

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