Penstemon procerus Dougl. ex Graham

Fully hardy, erect perennial with lance-shaped leaves and narrow spikes of small, purplish-blue flowers in summer.  To 30cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘[Penstemon confertus is] a very common plant, according to Mr. Douglas, in open places, in mountainous Pine woods, in dry sandy soils. […] It was introduced by its discoverer in 1827, in the autumn of which year it flowered in the Garden of the Horticultural Society, where our drawing was made.  It is by no means one of the handsomest of the genus; but it is a truly distinct species.’  [BR f.1260/1829].  ‘The recent travels of Mr. Douglas and Mr. Drummond among the Rocky Mountains, and in the North-west part of America, have been the means of enriching our gardens with many highly beautiful species of the Genus Penstemon; and in richness of colours the present [Penstemon procerus] will scarcely yield to any.  It was found by the former of these two Naturalists in swampy and overflowed meadows, between Fort Vancouver and the Grand Rapids of the river Columbia, on the North side; and by the latter (to whom our gardens are indebted for the living plant) on the Rocky Mountains; and by Dr. Richardson about Carlton House.  It blossoms in June.’ [BM t.2954/1829].

History at Camden Park

Penstemon procerum only appears as a hand written entry in an 1850 catalogue held at Camden Park with the number 179/3.  This catalogue is inscribed on the front ‘Wm. Macarthur 1850-51’.  [CPA].  Certainly grown in the gardens at this time.


Published Sep 24, 2009 - 02:51 PM | Last updated Feb 18, 2010 - 05:20 PM

Figured are lance-shaped leaves and narrow spike of small, purplish-blue flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2954, 1829.

Penstemon procerus Dougl. ex Graham | BM t.2954/1829 | BHL

More details about Penstemon procerus Dougl. ex Graham
Family Scrophulariaceae
Region of origin

North America

  • Penstemon confertus var. procerus (Dougl. ex Graham) Coville
Common Name

Littleflower penstemon

Name in the Camden Park Record

Penstemon procerum 

Confidence level high