Penstemon

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Penstemon

a North American genus of plants in the family Scrophulariaceae which act as facultative selenium converters; the selenocompounds produced by the plant cause alopecia, lameness, laminitis; called also beard tongue.
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There is a wide range of colours - mostly pinks, reds and purples, though there are even species of penstemon with yellow flowers.
Our own sensory biases might downplay the possibility of a mixed pollination syndrome for some redflowered penstemons.
Penstemons can flower from May right through to November, which few other flowers can match.
There are two excellent new series of penstemon on the market: the Volcano series are named after volcanic mountains and have a tidy, free flowering habit in a bright range of colours; the Pensham series has taken 26 years to breed and has been selected for length of flowering and winter hardiness.
All penstemons grow best in a sunny situation in soil that drains freely ( a factor that is specially important in winter.
Figworts include snapdragon, nemesia, diascia, linaria, veronica, galvezia, mimulus and penstemon.
Eileen Aplin stopped me and asked why her penstemons didn't flower at all this year.
Take the wonderful penstemons, which look so tasty in the garden just now.
I've got a few named penstemons that survived winter but look tatty.