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 ovatus Dougl.

Hardy perennial with broad-ovate leaves and blue flowers changing to purple.  To 1.2m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘In point of colour, this is perhaps the most beautiful of all the numerous species of this Genus lately detected in North-west America by Mr. Douglas.  The flowers, not large, are first of a rich ultramarine colour, gradually, as the flower vecomes more expanded, the outside becomes of a deep purple, whilst the inside is much more inclined to azure blue.’  [BM t.2903/1829].  Introduced to Britain in 1826.  [PD].  ‘Damp rocky openings in the woods, Humid Transition and Canadian Zones; southern British Columbia, west of the Cascadean crest, to Multnomah County, Oregon.  Type locality: “High mountains about the Grand Rapids of the Columbia River.” May-July.’  [An Illustrated Flora of the Pacific States vol.III, p./746].

History at Camden Park

Seeds ordered from Hurst and McMullen, Seedsmen and Florists of London, on 8th April 1846.  [MP A2933-1 p.132].  This is the only record.


Published Sep 24, 2009 - 03:24 PM | Last updated Feb 18, 2010 - 05:19 PM

Illustrated are broad, ovate leaves and blue flowers tinged with purple.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2903, 1829.

Penstemon ovatus Dougl. | BM t.2903/1829 | BHL

Family Scrophulariaceae
Region of origin

North America

Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Penstemon ovalifolium 

Confidence level high