Shorter, bushier plants with more flowers for longer, that was the aim of Cheshire plant breeder Fred Yates and the result is this exceptional new series of three penstemons for borders and containers.
Firstly, they feature good basal branching so that instead of running up with a single stem, the plants branch naturally from low down without the need for pinching.
Secondly, the stems have unusually short internodes – that’s the length of stem between leaf joints - and the result is shorter plants with the leaves set more closely together; some older varieties seem to show us more stems than leaves. These new Pentastic penstemons will reach no more than 50cm (20in) in height and will start flowering when much shorter.
Also, because the length of stem between flowers is also shorter, the flowers are carried more tightly together and also face boldly outwards instead of hanging down. The result? More colourful impact.
Finally, the repeated branching from low down on the plant reliably extends the flowering season from June into October.
There are three colours in the series, so far, all have a bright white throat. Pentastic Pink (‘Yapmine’) is pale pink, Pentastic Red (‘Yapruby’) is deep red and Pentastic Rose (‘Yaprose’) is vivid magenta-pink. More colours are on the way.
Fred Yates began breeding penstemons in 1993 and previously he introduced the Patio Bells Series and the Volcano Series, as well as the Million Kisses begonias.
You can order Pentastic penstemons from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.
Read more about penstemons in the RHS Grower Guide – AGM Penstemon.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS.