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Herbaceous Perennial

Penstemon barbatus 'Coccineus'
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

A tall, upright perennial to 1.8m with semi-evergreen basal rosettes and deciduous stems with leaves up to 20cm long. From early summer to early autumn bears loose spires of hanging, tubular red flowers 4cm long

Synonyms
Penstemon barbatus subsp. coccineus

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Red Green
Autumn Red Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Plantaginaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Penstemon may be deciduous or evergreen perennials or subshrubs, with simple, narrow leaves and racemes or panicles of bell-shaped or funnel-shaped flowers in summer and early autumn

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in a sheltered position in full sun or partial shade. In cold areas, protect plant overwinter with a dry mulch. See penstemon cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer, semi-hardwood cuttings in midsummer, or division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Deadhead after flowering to maintain vigour, then cut back to base in winter

Pests

May be susceptible to slugs, snails and chrysanthemum eelworms

Diseases

May be susceptible to a downy mildew

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