Mountain blue penstemon is also referred to by the common name gay penstemon because of its vivacious, jovial nature; in fact, the specific epithet “laetus” translates to “delightful.” Native to California and southern Oregon, mountain blue penstemon grows in sunny openings in forests, along open ridgelines, on dry, grassy slopes, and in chaparral. From a woody base and slender reddish-purple stems, mountain blue penstemon grows 1′-3′ tall and has linear to lance-shaped leaves. The tubular flowers are glandular with a color that ranges from blue, violet, lavender, to purple. Blooms May-July in the wild, but will bloom longer with deadheading and occasional watering in the garden setting. Perfect for a rock garden, or well-drained, rocky soil. Will benefit from occasional summer irrigation at lower elevations. Very attractive to many pollinators, including native bees, moths and hummingbirds.
Seed Germination Instructions
60-90 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall to late winter.