To invite Hummingbirds and Native Bees With These Pointy Pink Flowers

  • (Verdant Connections Landscape Architecture Reno/Houzz)

  • (Waterwise Landscapes Incorporated/Houzz)

  • (Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting/Houzz)


In the west of the United States, penstemons’ bloom spikes add welcome color to the late winter to spring and summer, depending on the species. Palmer’s penstemon, one of the largest species, is prized for its light pink flowers, which are borne on 4 – to 5-meter high peaks.

Unlike most penstemons, Palmer’s flowers are fragrant and perfume the garden early in the spring and extending into summer. Like other penstemon species, attracts native bees and hummingbirds. Palmer’s penstemon, the cold hardness and the ability to use the heat of the desert make it a must-have for landscapes in the whole west of the united states

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Botanical name: Penstemon palmeri

Common names: Palmer’s penstemon, scented penstemon, snapdragon penstemon

Origin: Native to the mountains of the south West (4,000 to 6,000 meters)

Where it will grow: Hardy to minus 30 degrees Celsius, or minus 34.4 degrees Celsius (USDA Zone 4)

Water requirement: Low

Light requirement: Full sun; filtered shade in the low desert regions

Mature size: 1 feet tall and wide; 4 feet when flowering

Benefits and tolerances: Drought tolerant, deer resistant, fragrant, attractive to hummingbirds and native bees

Seasonal interest: Spring flowers in warmer regions, in the summer it flowers in cooler climates

When to plant: Spring and autumn of transplantation (even in winter in zones 9 and higher); the autumn from seed

Distinctive characteristics. Grey-green leaves grow along upright stems which have been changed by the appearance of the 4 – to 5-foot-tall flowering spikes. The leaves are evergreen and finely serrated edges, making them a little bit prickly appearance.

Although of short duration, Palmer’s penstemon, self-seeds, creating new plant in its place. The drought tolerance, deer and rabbit resistance, and the ability to attract native bees to create this penstemon is a great choice for fans of native plants, but also for those who love beautiful flowers.

This penstemon’s high peaks are the truly beautiful property, as they are covered with a 1 – to 2-inch-wide pale pink flowers. The blossoms are similar in shape with those of snapdragons. In the warmer zones 9 and higher, the flowers begin to appear in spring and last for a number of weeks. The bloom in the colder zones occurs in the summer.

Due to the dry native habitat, this penstemon is best suited for gardens in the whole west of the united states, if it is not bad in areas with lots of rain.

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How to use it. Plant Palmer’s penstemon transplants in the direction of the rear fixed beds, where the pink flower spikes form a perfect background for the other drought-tolerant plants, such as angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis), germander sage (Salvia chamaedryoides), Latin American fleabane(Erigeron karvinskianus), tufted evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa), and gaura (Gaura lindheimeri).

In the autumn sow Palmer’s penstemon seed mixed with the seed of other perennials such as desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata), or the Southwest of the mock-vervain (Glandularia gooddingii) — under the native vegetation for a bright splash of warm season color.

The plants of the notes. Plant in a location with full sun and well-drained soil. No fertilizer or special adjustments are necessary.

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