Blackbeard Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis ‘Blackbeard’)

Blackbeard Penstemon

Dramatic and darkly hued Hummingbird magnet! A little drama is a good thing in the landscape! Add interest and charm with the easy-care Blackbeard Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis ‘Blackbeard’) perennial. Everything about this Blackbeard Beardtongue is highly saturated color!

Lance-shaped foliage is the astounding red-purple of fine Cabernet wine. Even the dark purple flower stems are pretty! The stems stay strictly upright all season long as does the mounds of upright foliage that look fantastic throughout the growing season. Long spires of tubular flowers are shaded electric lavender on the outside and are creamy white on the inside. They bend and wave over the low mound of deep eggplant purple leaves, bringing motion to the landscape.

This long-lasting floral display adds color and charm to your landscape. Even after the flowers are past, attractive dark burgundy seed pods develop, held aloft by the sturdy stems. If you can tear your eyes from the leaves, you might see the blooms through the swarms of pollinators that arrive to sip the nectar! Hummingbirds adore the light purple-pink flowers with white, flaring tubes. They will gather nectar all day long!

Xeric, Firewise, and Deer and rabbit-resistant plants, Beardtongue are hardy native perennials that can be found throughout the States, and this new cultivar is no less adaptable and easy to care for than its wildflower cousins! Extremely cold tolerant in USDA growing zones 3 through mild zone 8, Blackbeard is just the drama your garden has been missing for depth and textural interest!

Planting and Application:

Include both the flowers and the seed pods in your interior cut flower arrangements. You’ll love the bold pop of color. This gorgeous Penstemon is a perfect perennial for your Butterfly Garden. We can all do our part to support the needs of beneficial pollinators by planting flowers. Be sure to count how many hummingbirds you see! The plants are dark enough to make it easy to see their jewel-toned feathers and they zip and spin through the air. Kids will LOVE watching the show!

It makes a beautiful thriller in containers, too. Place a few whiskey barrels and add several plants to fill into a lush arrangement. Small enough for container gardening on front porches, balconies and around backyard seating areas. With their long bloom time, Blackbeard will become a favorite of hummingbirds, honeybees and butterflies in your neighborhood. You’ll love the look, too!

Smaller-sized mounds, a single specimen easily tucks into any sized garden! Use several plants near the middle of your planting bed. Create a long, sinuous ribbon to capture the eye, or add it as a contrasting foil behind chartreuse or silver-foliage plants. Pair with white and purple blooms, pinks, and offsets nicely with burgundy and maroon reds.

Blackbeard Penstemon is tolerant of road salt, so you can add it to roadside hell-strip plantings. It’s rugged and tough enough for use in Rock Gardens and prairie plantings.

Honestly, you really can’t go wrong with this one!

  • Dark Dramatic Purple & White Tubular Blooms
  • Eggplant-Purple Stems & Foliage
  • Small Scale Mounds & Persistent Ornamental Seed Pods
  • Very Easy Care & Long Lasting
  • Mysterious Specimen, Accents, Beds & Borders, & Pollinator Friendly

Tips for Care:

Penstemon does it’s very best in full sun for the strongest stems and the most blooms. It requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Plant in very well-drained soil that’s not overly enriched and avoid excess fertilizer. Please be sure to give it water during an extended drought. Prune back mounds in the fall after frost has killed back the leafy stems and tops. Place a light layer of Mulch around their crowns with 3-4 inches of arborist bark chips, and to maintain vigor, it’s recommended to divide the mounds every few years.

  • Full Sun & Partial Shade
  • Average to Low Fertility
  • Well-Drained Soil & Appreciates Mulch
  • Regular Moisture
  • Drought-Tolerant Once Established
  • Deer & Rabbit-Resistant

Add this dramatic perennial to your landscape this season! Enjoy the outstanding color and bold impact of the Blackbeard Beardtongue.

Blackbeard Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis ‘Blackbeard’) Details

Common name Blackbeard Penstemon
Botanical name Penstemon digitalis 'Blackbeard'
Plant type Perennial
Hardiness zone 3-8
Growth rate Medium
Height 2 - 3 ft.
Width 2 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Average to Low
Soil condition Well-Drained
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time Late Autumn
Flower color Deep Purple & White