perennial

Blackbeard Beard Tongue

Penstemon 'Blackbeard'

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Blackbeard Beard Tongue (Penstemon 'Blackbeard') at Sargent's Gardens

Blackbeard Beard Tongue flowers

Blackbeard Beard Tongue flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  30 inches

Spacing:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3a

Other Names:  Beardtongue

Description:

An impressive penstemon producing flowers in shades of lilac purple rising above deep eggplant purple foliage on equally dark stems; makes a beautiful visual impact when massed in the garden, along walkways, or in borders

Ornamental Features

Blackbeard Beard Tongue has masses of beautiful spikes of lilac purple tubular flowers with white throats rising above the foliage from early to mid summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive glossy narrow leaves remain deep purple in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The deep purple stems can be quite attractive.

Landscape Attributes

Blackbeard Beard Tongue is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Blackbeard Beard Tongue is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Blackbeard Beard Tongue will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Blackbeard Beard Tongue is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features