Blackbeard Penstemon Shrub
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Blackbeard Penstemon (Beardtongue)

As low as $24.88 was $50.78
Availability: In stock
Planting Pros Recommend:

Dramatic Hummingbird Magnet Blackbeard Penstemon

  • Deliciously Deep Purple Leaves
  • Incredible Lilac-Purple Flowers with White Interiors
  • Watch Hummingbirds Gather Nectar
  • Blooms in Early Summer through Mid-summer
  • Incredible Cut Flowers
  • Tolerant of Heat and Humidity
  • Very Cold Hardy
  • Salt Tolerant

A little drama is a good thing in the landscape! Add interest and charm with the easy-care Blackbeard Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis 'Blackbeard') perennial.

Everything about this Blackbeard beardtongue is highly colored. Lance-shaped foliage is the astounding red-purple of fine Cabernet wine. Even the dark purple flower stems are pretty. The stems stay strictly upright all season long.

Long spires of tubular flowers are shaded electric lavender on the outside and are creamy white on the inside. They bend and wave over the low mound of deep eggplant purple leaves, bringing motion to your landscape.

You'll encourage flying visitors, too. Hummingbirds adore the light purple-pink flowers with white, flaring tubes. They will gather nectar all day long!

This long-lasting floral display adds color and charm to your landscape. Even after the flowers are past, attractive dark burgundy seed pods develop, held aloft by the sturdy stems.

Include both the flowers and the seed pods in your interior cut flower arrangements. You'll love the bold pop of color.

Add this beauty to your landscape this season. Order Blackbeard Penstemon today!

How to Use Blackbeard Penstemon in the Landscape

This gorgeous Penstemon is a perfect perennial for your Butterfly Garden. We can all do our part to support the needs of beneficial pollinators by planting flowers.

With their long bloom time, Blackbeard will become a favorite of hummingbirds, honeybees and butterflies in your neighborhood. You'll love the look, too.

Use several plants near the middle of your planting bed. Create a long, sinuous ribbon to capture the eye, or add as a contrasting foil behind chartreuse or silver-foliage plants.

Honestly, you really can't go wrong with this one!

It makes a beautiful Thriller in containers, too. Place a few whiskey barrels and add several plants to fill into a lush, living arrangement.

Blackbeard Penstemon is tolerant of road salt, so you can add it to roadside plantings. It's rugged and tough enough for use in rock gardens and prairie plantings.

Be sure to count how many hummingbirds you see! The plants are dark enough to make it easy to see their jewel-toned feathers and they zip and spin through the air. Kids will LOVE watching the show!

#ProPlantTips for Care

For best results, plant this perennial in full sun. It requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Very well-drained soils are best for this cultivar of a prairie native.

For the first season, while your young plant is getting its roots established in your soil, apply a moderate amount of water on a regular basis. After the first season, you can extend the watering schedule.

Please be sure to give it water during an extended drought. Place a light layer of mulch around the plant, taking care not to touch the main stems.

Trim the seedpods back in fall, unless you are naturalizing the plant. But let's face it. When a plant looks as good as the Blackbeard Penstemon, you'll be tempted to try collecting seeds to expand your plantings.

Enjoy the outstanding color and bold impact of the Blackbeard Penstemon. Order yours today!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

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To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep.

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 14.95
20 - 49.99 17.95
50 - 69.99 19.95
70 - 99.99 24.95
100 - 129.99 29.95
130 - 130+ Approx 25%

Click here to see our full rates


Blackbeard Penstemon (Beardtongue) Is Suited to Grow in Zones 3-8
Growing Zones 3-8
More Information
Botanical Name Penstemon digitalis 'Blackbeard'
Mature Height 2 - 3 feet
Mature Spread 2 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Type Well-Drained
Moisture Medium, Low
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Pink
Foliage Perennial
Foliage Color Purple
Pollinator Friendly Yes