Foothill Penstemon is a rather long lived(30 years?) perennial with hundreds of one inch violet flowers on three foot spikes in April- Aug.. Native to dry hills in the coast ranges. It likes full sun, is drought tolerant, needs good drainage. Penstemon heterophyllus has been alkali tolerant. An excellent dry land garden plant.
Containers do not like temp. below 15 deg., in the ground the plants are tolerant of 5 deg. or so. If you trim the flower heads after the first flowering you can induce a second flowering.
This plant is very, very showy. It is one of those that you can see from the car at 60 mph. (That's how I saw my first one in the early 70's, the skid marks may still be there.) It's native on the nursery site with some of the parent plants living for 20 or more years with no care or maintenance. Rainfall in the areas it is native to ranges from 12-30 inches. It grows in clay or decomposed granite, always on slopes. It is very stable in coastal, desert or mountain plantings, if not overwatered, fertilized or otherwise abused.
Penstemon heterophyllus tolerates alkaline soil and clay.
Penstemon heterophyllus is great for a bird garden.
Foliage of Penstemon heterophyllus has color green and is deciduous.
Flower of Penstemon heterophyllus has color violet.
Communities for Penstemon heterophyllus:Chaparral, Southern Oak Woodland and Yellow Pine Forest.