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Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'

beardtongue

This native makes a stunning display with its brilliant white flowers against a backdrop of deep red foliage. Tough and easy to grow, it tolerates a wide variety of conditions including hot, dry sites. Our plants are now vegetatively propagated from our reddest, most vigorous selections.

SIZE
Penstemon 'Husker Red' LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
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Height

24-30 Inches

Spread

12-18 Inches

Spacing

12-18 Inches

Bloom Color

White

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9

beardtongue Interesting Notes

This native makes a stunning display with its brilliant white flowers against a backdrop of deep red foliage. Tough and easy to grow, Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ tolerates a wide variety of conditions including hot, dry sites. Growing 36” tall and 18” wide, ‘Husker Red’ is delightful en masse on the edge of a flower bed and punctuates natural areas with its red foliage. Originally selected by Dale Lindgren, this plant was chosen by The Perennial Plant Association to be the 1996 Perennial Plant of the Year™What makes ‘Husker Red’ great is its perfect suitability for the Mid-Atlantic climate – thriving in hot, humid summers and wet winters.


Penstemon digitalis can be found as far northeast as Maine and as far southwest as Texas with the highest density of populations found along the Mississippi River Basin. This leads experts to believe that this is where the plant originated and it spread slowly over time to other locations. Beardtongue prefers average to moist, well-drained soil in full to partial sun and is found in low, moist areas such as prairies or open woodlands. Penstemon digitalis is drought tolerant but grows poorly in heavy clay soils. Too heavy of soils and winter moisture can cause crown rot in some Penstemon. One of its best features, beardtongue will tolerate dry shade, as long as it isn’t deep shade.


Perfect for wild and perennial gardens, xeriscaping as well as naturalized areas, Penstemon digitalis supports dozens of native bees and pollinators including long-tongued bees as well as Halictid bees, moths, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The foliage supports at least three different larval stages of moths and the foliage is generally unattractive to mammalian herbivory. For best foliage coloring, situate ‘Husker Red’ in full sun.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' Growing and Maintenance Tips

Grow in full sun and average to dry soil with good drainage. Water well on planting and regularly until established. Drought tolerant.

Good Substitutions

beardtongue Penstemon 'Blackbeard'
beardtongue Penstemon digitalis

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Moist
Moist
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Hummingbird-friendly
Hummingbird-friendly
Songbird-friendly
Songbird-friendly
Pollinator-friendly
Pollinator-friendly
Cut Flower
Cut Flower
Salt Tolerance
Salt Tolerance
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Average
Dry
Green Infrastructure
Green Roof
Wetland Indicator Status
Falcutative (FAC)
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Attributes
Ornamental Foliage
Native to North America
Clay Tolerance
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Propagation Type
Seed cultivar