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Scented Penstemon

Penstemon palmeri

Out of stock

1 gallon

Plant Care

Native region:

Sonoran Desert; Mojave Desert

Water needs:



Mature size:

Growth rate:

Full Sun



Flower color:

Flower season:


Purple; Blue; Pink


Remove flower stalk after bloom if desired




Nectar pollinators:


Nighttime pollinators:


Rabbit resistant:


Scented Penstemon is native to much of the Southwest at higher elevations. The plant produces one foot
diameter basal rosettes of leathery, blue-green waxy leaves growing to about 5 inches in length. Spectacular 4 to 6-foot tall spikes bear huge, tubular, light pink, fragrant flowers in the spring. It is best suited to part shade in low desert areas.
The tallest penstemon in the Southwest and one of the few fragrant penstemons. The flowers are designed for bee pollination, providing a landing platform and a swollen tube to accommodate the chubby bodies of bumblebees.
Scented Penstemon is cold hardy.

Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information

The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others! 


Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.


Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.

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