Penstemon perfoliatus A.Brongn.

‘Vigorous penstemon with medium blue flowers.  Interesting gray-green broad leaves that wrap the stems to the extent that it appears the stem has pierced through them.’  [Rocky Mountain Rare Plants - Online Reference -].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Planted occasionally in gardens for ornament, especially in San Marcos and elsewhere in the western highlands; native of central and southern Mexico, and dubiously also in Guatemala.  A tall and rather coarse plant, a meter high or less, the stems mostly simple stout, densely viscid-villous with short spreading hairs; cauline leaves sessile and amplexicaul, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, mostly 7-10 cm. long, long-attenuate, very finely serrulate or often subentire, densely short-villous on both surfaces or finally glabrate; inflorescence narrowly paniculate or raceme-like, very leafy, the cymes few-flowered, short-pedunculate, the flowers densely crowded; calyx 1 cm. long, densely viscid-villosulous, the segments lance-ovate or broadly ovate, obtuse or subacute; corolla rose-pink or purplish blue, 3-4 cm. long, glabrate or somewhat pubescent outside, the tube broad and much dilated above.’ [Flora of Guatemala – Fieldiana vol.24, part IX,  p.386/1970-73]

History at Camden Park

The only reference to this plant is a handwritten entry in a copy of the 1850 catalogue held at the Mitchell library, Sydney.  This is inscribed on the front cover Wm. Macarthur, 23rd Dec. 1854.  [ML 635.9m].  Certainly grown in the gardens at this time.


Published Sep 24, 2009 - 02:49 PM | Last updated Feb 18, 2010 - 05:20 PM

More details about Penstemon perfoliatus A.Brongn.
Family Scrophulariaceae
Region of origin

Mexico to the Rockies

Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Penstemon perfoliatum 

Confidence level high