Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

Blog Contact Us Directions

3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453
Fri. & Sat. from 9am-4pm
8331 Nelson Way
Escondido, CA 92026
Tues. to Sat. from 9am-4pm

Shop For Plants Cart Contents

This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

Penstemon labrosus

Southern California Scarlet Penstemon and San Gabriel Penstemon.

Santa Margarita, CA
Size Quantity Price
One Gallon 47 $ 9.99
Plants in production
One Gallon 40 --
Escondido, CA
Size Quantity Price
One Gallon 8 $ 9.99
Plants in production
-- -- --

Penstemon labrosus, San Gabriel Penstemon,  is native to mountains of Southern California from Ventura Co. to Baja from about 3000-10000'(it seems to need the extra rainfall at the higher elevations). The foliage of this scarlet bugler lays on the ground making a minimal appearance blending as well as possible with the pine needles or rocky scree that it lives in/under. From this 6"across flat plant arises one or maybe two 3' spikes of 2" bright red flowers. It will then become nearly invisible again for the year. It grows under Ponderosa and Jeffrey Pine or in rocky, gravelly slopes, in some of the worst climate areas in the U.S. and should do great in the Rockies and in New England. The rainfall (snow and rainfall) in this beard tongue's range is about 12-15"/year. It has tolerated summer water well. We have some plants in the nursery that have been with us for years. Easy, garden tolerant, cold tolerant and shade tolerant. It will not tolerate reflected heat in hot climates. In hot climates give it some shade. 

In the wild common associated plants include;  Symphoricarpos parishii, Ribes cereum, Juniperus occidentalis, Calocedrus decurrens, Fragaria vesca, Abies concolor, Pseudotsuga macrocarpa, Quercus chrysolepis, and Arctostaphylos parryana.

Use a rock to mark where you plant it!  In the fall you will not be able to find it until it flowers otherwise.

Really good in a cool, small rock garden or a small perennial garden. Mix with Horkelia parryi, Horkelia rydbergii, Achillea lanulosa, Monardella odoratissima, and Penstemon heterodoxus.

Everyone seems to have a common name for this one. San Gabriel Beard Tongue, Scarlet bugler, Mountain bugler, San Gabriel Penstemon, Southern Scarlet Penstemon, Rabbit Ear Penstemon, and how about what we hear customers ask for that pretty red thing on the side of the mountain.


Penstemon labrosus is great for a bird garden.
Penstemon labrosus's foliage color is green-gray and type is deciduous.
Penstemon labrosus's flower color is red.

Communities for Penstemon labrosus:Red Fir Forest and Yellow Pine Forest.

ph: 6.00 to 8.00
usda: 4 to 10
height[m]: 0.20 to 1.00
width[m]: 0.10 to 0.50
rainfall[cm]: 100.00 to 195.00

What does all this mean!?!

Shop Online
One Gallon (Up to 22) $ 9.99

Plant Lists: View Information About Other Plants

Alphabetized by scientific name: A -B -C -D -E -F -G -H -I -J -K -L -M -N -O -P -Q -R -S -T -U -V -W -X -Y -Z
Alphabetized by common name: A -B -C -D -E -F -G -H -I -J -K -L -M -N -O -P -Q -R -S -T -U -V -W -X -Y -Z
Alphabetized by cultivar: A -B -C -D -E -F -G -H -I -J -K -L -M -N -O -P -Q -R -S -T -U -V -W -X -Y -Z

Las Pilitas - Home Page