'Blackbeard' Penstemon

Blackbeard was a famous English pirate known for his black facial hair. The name of this hardy perennial is a play on words from the common name for Penstemon, Beardtongue. The dark feature referenced on this plant is its incredible foliage. Dark purple flower stems hold their lilac-purple flowers with their white flaring tubes high above the low mound of deep eggplant purple leaves. Attractive dark burgundy seed pods follow the flowering performance for extended seasonal interest. ‘Blackbeard’ stays strictly upright all season long with no lodging.

Like all of our Penstemons, this one takes the heat and humidity in stride but is also very cold hardy. It continues to provide terrific color in the landscape all season long.

Penstemons are very drought tolerant perennials that are easy to grow and are rarely bothered by insects or diseases. Plant them in full sun and watch as hummingbirds feast on their delicious nectar.

  • Fantastic Foliage
  • Attracts: Bees, Hummingbirds
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Salt Tolerant


  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Height Category: Medium
  • Garden Height: 28 - 34 Inches
  • Spacing: 24 Inches
  • Spread: 24 Inches
  • Flower Colors: Pink
  • Flower Shade: Pink
  • Foliage Colors: Purple, Black
  • Foliage Shade: Near Black
  • Habit: Upright
  • Container Role: Thriller


  • Light Requirement: Sun
  • Maintenance Category: Easy
  • Bloom Time: Early Summer - Mid Summer
  • Hardiness Zones: 3 - 8
  • Water Category: Average, Low
  • Soil Fertility Requirement: Average Soil, Fertile Soil
  • Soil PH Category: Neutral Soil
  • Uses: Border Plant, Landscape, Mass Planting, Cut Flower
  • Maintenance Notes: Penstemons should be grown in full sun and very well-drained soil to avoid root rot. Soil fertility need only be average, but a light mulch in winter is recommended.

Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc


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