Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Penstemon campanulatus Willd. var. pulchellus (Lindl.) Voss

See Pentstemon campanulatus Willd. for details.  The variety pulchellus has white-veined violet or lilac flowers and narrower leaves.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, BR f.1138/1828, as Penstemon pulchellus].  See also BM t.3884/1841.

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘[Pentstemon pulchellum] requires the protection of the greenhouse in winter, but in summer does best planted out in a border, where it will flower in great abundance till the appearance of frost.’  [LBC no.1438/1830].  Don gives a date of introduction of 1827 for P. pulchellum.  ‘A handsome, half-hardy perennial, native of Mexico, whence seeds were brought, in 1826, to Mr. Tate, of Sloane Street, in whose Nursery our drawing was made, in July last, by Mr. R. P. Staples, to whom the same collection owes many other valuable plants.  We understand that it throve exceedingly, planted in a warm border exposed to the south.  This is very near P. campanulatum, from which it differs principally in its corolla being paler, more inflated, and destitute of glands, which abound on the corolla of P. campanulatum. The leaves of this plant are also less finely toothed, not so much acuminate, and of a more oblong figure.’  [BR f.1138/1828].

History at Camden Park

Listed only as a hand written entry in an 1850 catalogue held at Camden Park, inscribed ‘Wm. Macarthur 1850-51’, in Macarthur’s hand, on the front cover and numbered 179/4.  Macarthur included P. pulchellus among desiderata to Loddiges’ Nursery on the 6th January 1845 [MP A2933-2 p.28] and this is a likely source.  Certainly grown in the gardens at this time.


Published Sep 24, 2009 - 02:29 PM | Last updated Feb 18, 2010 - 05:20 PM

Figured are toothed lance-shaped leaves and long spike of bell-shaped, pink flowers.  Botanical Register f.1138,1828.

Penstemon campanulatus f. pulchellus (Lindl.) Voss | BR f.1138/1828 | BHL

Family Scrophulariaceae
Region of origin


  • Penstemon pulchellus Lindl.
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Penstemon pulchellum 

Confidence level high