Blackbeard Penstemon

As low as $49.79 was $59.99
Availability: In stock

Dramatic and darkly hued Hummingbird magnet! 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 saturated color!

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 as does the mounds of upright foliage that look fantastic throughout the growing season. 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 the landscape.

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. If you can tear your eyes from the leaves, you might see the blooms through the swarms of pollinators that arrive to sip the nectar! Hummingbirds adore the light purple-pink flowers with white, flaring tubes. They will gather nectar all day long!

Xeric, Firewise, and Deer and rabbit-resistant plants, Beardtongue are hardy native perennials that can be found throughout the States, and this new cultivar is no less adaptable and easy to care for than its wildflower cousins! Extremely cold tolerant in USDA growing zones 3 through mild zone 8, Blackbeard is just the drama your garden has been missing for depth and textural interest!

Planting and Application:

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

It makes a beautiful thriller in containers, too. Place a few whiskey barrels and add several plants to fill into a lush arrangement. Small enough for container gardening on front porches, balconies and around backyard seating areas. With their long bloom time, Blackbeard will become a favorite of hummingbirds, honeybees and butterflies in your neighborhood. You'll love the look, too!

Smaller-sized mounds, a single specimen easily tucks into any sized garden! Use several plants near the middle of your planting bed. Create a long, sinuous ribbon to capture the eye, or add it as a contrasting foil behind chartreuse or silver-foliage plants. Pair with white and purple blooms, pinks, and offsets nicely with burgundy and maroon reds.

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

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

  • Dark Dramatic Purple & White Tubular Blooms
  • Eggplant-Purple Stems & Foliage
  • Small Scale Mounds & Persistent Ornamental Seed Pods
  • Very Easy Care & Long Lasting
  • Mysterious Specimen, Accents, Beds & Borders, & Pollinator Friendly

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Penstemon does it's very best in full sun for the strongest stems and the most blooms. It requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Plant in very well-drained soil that's not overly enriched and avoid excess fertilizer. Please be sure to give it water during an extended drought. Prune back mounds in the fall after frost has killed back the leafy stems and tops. Place a light layer of Mulch around their crowns with 3-4 inches of arborist bark chips, and to maintain vigor, it's recommended to divide the mounds every few years.

  • Full Sun & Partial Shade
  • Average to Low Fertility
  • Well-Drained Soil & Appreciates Mulch
  • Regular Moisture
  • Drought-Tolerant Once Established
  • Deer & Rabbit-Resistant

Add this dramatic perennial to your landscape this season! Order Blackbeard Penstemon today at before it is gone! Enjoy the outstanding color and bold impact of the Blackbeard Beardtongue.

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

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

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
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


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. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
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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 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Blackbeard Penstemon Is Suited to Grow in Zones 3-8
Growing Zones 3-8
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Penstemon digitalis 'Blackbeard'
Type Perennial
Mature Height 2 - 3 feet
Mature Spread 2 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well-Drained
Moisture Average to Low
Growth Rate Medium
Foliage Color Purple
Fall Color Purple
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Late Autumn
Photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc -