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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects



Penstemon serrulatus

Coast Penstemon

Flowering Period: May, Jun, Jul May June July
Flower color: purple Flower color: blue
Full sun Mostly sunny Partial sun
Moist soil Dry soil


At a Glance: Perennial, sprawling sub-shrub from a woody stem base, with large purple tubular flowers at stem tips.

Height: 8-28 inches (20-70 cm).
Growth Form: Herb.
Stems: Several leafy and hairless to hairy stems, branching, woody base.
Leaves: Leaves opposite, hairless and stalkless, saw toothed; lower leaves are reduces and often stalked; shape: lance to oblong egg-shaped; size: 3-8 cm (1-3 in).
Flowers: Hairless, deep blue to dark purple tubular flowers on short stalks in 1 to several compact clusters at stem tips; 4 fertile stamens; size: 17-25 mm long.
Flowering Period: May, June, July.
Fruits: Dry capsules 5-8 mm long.

Penstemon serrulatus
Photo © Ben Legler
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Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%

wet
moist
dry

low elevation
mid elevation
sub-alpine
high elevation


Soil Preferences
(data not available)

Habitat Preferences
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Shallow pools
Sloughs
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Emergent wetlands
Scrub-shrub wetlands
Forested wetlands
Bogs, fens
Seeps, springs
Shorelines and Riparian:
Lake shores
Bog margins
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
Riparian corridors
River bars
Floodplains
Bottomlands
Alluvial areas
Saltwater Areas:
In or near saltwater
Mud flats
Tidal areas
Estuaries
Saltmarshes
Brackish water
Seashores
Coastal dunes or beaches
Rocky or Gravelly Areas:
Coastal bluffs
Cliffs
Rocky slopes
Outcrops
Crevices
Glacial outwash
Gullies
Slide areas
Sub-alpine and Alpine:
Heaths
Snow beds
Tundra
Avalanche tracks
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Open forests
Coniferous forests
Old growth forests
Deciduous forests
Mixed forests
Nurse logs
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
Thickets
Meadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areas
Disturbed Areas:
Roadsides
Trailsides
Logged sites
Burned areas
Disturbed sites

Wildlife Value
Berries
Seeds
Nectar for hummingbirds
Nectar for butterflies
Host for insect larvae
Thickets and shelter
Thorny or protective cover

Insects: Bumblebees, night-flying moths, and butterflies (swallowtails, common wood nymphs, and Lorquins admirals) are attracted to the flowers of penstemons


Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts
Name Info: Penstemon is from Latin (pente = 5 and stemon = stamens). The flowers have 4 fertile stamens and 1 sterile.
Interesting Facts: Penstemons also called beard-tongues because of their hairy throats and lower lips of the flowers. Some species also have hairy stamens or anthers.



Suggested References



The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.