Penstemon: Palmer's (Penstemon palmeri)
Also Known As: Ballon Flower
Ease of Growing: Easy
Grown as: Perennial
Maturity (Bloom): Spring
Light: Full sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Attracts Beneficial Insects: Yes. Penstemons are considered desirable forages for deer, antelope, and birds either as herbage or seed. They may also provide some cover for selected small bird species. They provide diversity to the plant community.
Sow Depth: on soil surface
USDA Zone: 4a-9b
Produces: tall spikes of showy light pink blooms.
Palmer’s penstemon is found in blackbrush, sagebrush, Joshua tree, pinyon-juniper, and ponderosa pine communities where subsurface moisure is available from 800 to 2500 m in elevation.
present at harvest period. Multiple harvest periods (by hand) may be necessary to maximize seed
collection. Some seed will shatter once capsules open, but the capsule is upright and tends to hold
seed very well. Seed can be separated from the capsule by use of a hammer mill or barley de-bearder
followed by air screening.
Native companion plants for the pond edge: Gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), Kansas Gayfeather (Liatris pycnostachya), Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis), or Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccafolium)
Native Companion plants for rock gardens: Evening Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa), Shortstem spiderwort (Tradescantia tharpii), Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe involucrata), Narrow-leaf Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia)
Spiderwort: Prairie (Tradescantia occidentalis)
Milkweed: Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis) is a native clump-forming perennial flower that is commonly found growing in areas of prairies and woods where gravel accumulates along streams, and on rocky slopes throughout the northern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 4-5' tall and features 1 1/2” semi spear shaped spiked heads that are covered in 1” feathery deep rose-purple flowers that rest on firm leafy flower stalks which protrude from a tuft of 6” green grass like narrow leaves. This plant can be grown in containers, it attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, provides bird forage, can be used as a cut flower, and is resistant to deer!