Pentstemon – Beard Tongue, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

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Pentstemon – Beard Tongue

The Pentstemons are beautiful
border plants but do not do as well in the Northern
States as in the Southern ones, where the climate is
milder and the season of blooming is longer. They are
very showy, growing from 2 feet to 4 feet high, are
rather bushy and have very long, slender spikes which
bear many trumpet-shaped flowers with hairy throats
from whence the name “Beard Tongue” comes. The colors
range from white, pale rose, azure blue, lilac, coral,
scarlet, violet and purple. Pentstemon barbatus Torreyi
has slender, deep scarlet-red flowers. The foliage
is light green and the stems are wiry and thin, giving
an airy appearance to the whole plant. P. gloxinioides
Sensation has Gloxinia-like flowers of varying colors-rose,
lilac, cherry, crimson and purple. It grows about 2
feet high and is in bloom nearly all Summer. P. Digitalis
has white flowers with a purple throat, grows 2,
or 3 feet high and blooms during June and July. The
Pentstemons somewhat resemble the Snapdragons, both
in flower and in growth. Often the flowers are two-colored,
the petals being of one color and the throat of another.
The flowers last from June through October.

UTILIZE. Pentstemons are
very free blooming and are good for cutting purposes.
Their graceful growth and variety of colors make them
easily adaptable to almost any perennial border. The
dwarfer ones are grown in rockeries.

GENERAL. A good, deep garden
soil mixed with leafmold or sandy loam, in a well drained
situation which is somewhat shady, is the best place
to grow Pentstemons. They like plenty of water in the:
Summertime. Many are hardy, but Sensation requires mulching
during the Winter; even then, in the colder climates
it freezes out. Good drainage and loose, loamy soil
are absolutely necessary to the growth of Pentstemons.

PROPAGATION. They are propagated
either by division, seed or cuttings. Cuttings should
he taken in the Autumn, which is also the time to divide
the roots. Plants may bloom the first year if the seeds
are sown early. The varieties of P. gloxinioides
are well treated as annuals, sowing the seed each

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