Date posted: 30 April 2015
Penstemons can found in the Americas – from as far north as Alaska to as central as Guatemala. There are approximately 250 species in this genus and in more recent years new selections have been discovered - increasing flower production. The flowers resemble foxgloves (Digitalis) and they belong to the same plant family Scropulariaceae.
The Native Americans used several species primarily for their analgesic and styptic properties, and to control stomach disorders
The Penstemon ‘Blackbird’ is a selection we have been growing in the nursery for the past 18 months and is this week’s plant of the week. It produces long spikes of dark purple flowers which flower over a long period. Its growth habit is compact and bushy.
Staff at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden have planted many of these plants over the past few weeks adjacent to the wedding gazebo and are now in full flower for everyone to enjoy.