Penstemon centranthifolius

Common Name:
Scarlet bugler
Plant Type:
Evergreen perennial
Plantaginaceae (formerly in Scrophulariaceae)
Geographic Origin:
California Native?:
Plant Size:
2-4 feet
Landscape/Garden Uses:
Mixed plantings
Flowering Season:
Flower Color:
Sun or light shade
Well-drained soil
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to little watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 10 degrees F. or less
Scarlet bugler is a common plant of dry places in central and southern California. It produces several sturdy, upsweeping stems from a narrow base. Paired along these are broad, tapered leaves up to 4 inches long, clasping the stems. The leaves are strikingly colored, sometimes ashy grey, sometime bright blue-green. Loosely spaced on long stalks above the foliage are narrowly tubular, bright red blossoms. It needs particularly good drainage and full exposure and is often short-lived in the garden. However, new plants are readily started from seeds.