Click on image for full screen view.

Baccharis-leaf Penstemon, Red Penstemon, Rock Penstemon, Limestone Beardtongue
Penstemon baccharifolius


From 2000 to 7000 feet of elevation, rocky slopes, limestone crevices and bluffs, and seemingly soilless cracks in limestone ledges provide the required sharp drainage for baccharis-leaf penstemon in the Edwards Plateau and Trans-Pecos of Texas and south into Mexico. This is a densely branched subshrub with herbaceous growth above, which becomes woody at its base. It may be erect or somewhat sprawling. Its 1- to 2-inch-long, thick, smooth or fuzzy leaves show small teeth along the margin. Inch-long straight tubular scarlet flowers open along the stalk from spring through summer. Baccharis-leaf penstemon makes a desirable rock garden plant given excellent drainage and roots shaded from the late afternoon sun with mulch or rocks. In winter it may die to the ground or need to be strongly cut back to promote a bushy habit. It is browsed by deer, sheep and goats.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: scarlet red

Blooming Period: summer

Fruit Characteristics: two lobed flattened capsule

Height: 1 to 2 feet

Width: 1 foot

Plant Character: semievergreen

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8

Additional Comments:

| Index of Scientific Names | Index of Common Names | Photo Gallery Index |