The Rocky Mountain Penstemon is a stunning perennial native to the high elevations of western states. Since it grows naturally at high elevations, it is not suitable for the lower elevations of Tucson and Green Valley. With so many other penstemons to choose from, it just makes sense to pick one suited to our climate. This is a good choice for people who live in the cooler locations of Southern Arizona, however.
The Rocky Mountain Penstemon is petite in size, only reaching about one foot tall and wide. Like all penstemons, it needs good drainage and attracts hummingbirds. The flowers appear in the summer, and are violet-blue.
Plant penstemons with other perennials or shrubs to hide its dormancy. Good choices for companion perennials are the Chocolate Flower, Desert Marigold and Cup flower. All of these plants except the Desert Marigold, which is stubborn about coming up from seed, can be planted as seeds in the fall, or set out as plants in the spring or fall.
Reference: Mountain States Wholesale Nursery and Gregg Starr Nursery Plant Info Sheet, 1999.