Gulf Coast Penstemon displays beauty


I love this little native wildflower.

Penstemon ten-uis, or Gulf Coast Penstemon, blooms all the month of April and way into May — quite a while for a spring perennial. I have had this little flower for years in my own yard, and love how it seeds itself everywhere in shade or sun.

Growing about 18 inches or 2 feet high, it literally twinkles its little lavender bells with the slightest breeze. I also love to cut it to bring inside. It makes a long-lived cut flower and adds grace to a bouquet of spring flowers.

There are many penstemons available, some much more showy than P. tenuis, but none so easy to grow in our area. Just give them moist soil in winter and spring and watch them do their thing.

The plants are perennial, and you will often have more than you want, but there is no other plant easier to pull out. You can jerk them right out of the ground in bloom, plant them in another place and be assured they will perk up and continue doing their thing in a day or two.

How many other plants can you treat that way and expect good results?

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