Beard Thread (Penstemon barbatus, Syn. Chelone barbatus)

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Type / Family: Perennial. Belongs to the family of the brownwort family (Scrophulariaceae)
Care: Low. Easy care
Flowering time: Depending on the variety from June to September with small, funnel-shaped flowers loose on narrow panicles hanging in red, pink, white or blue, often also two-colored and some fragrant. Due to the loose distribution of the flowers very filigree
Foliage: mostly half or evergreen. Basal leaves are ovate oblong, leaves on the stem rather lanceolate. Foliage is shiny in fresh green, some species and varieties with greyish-green or blue-green foliage
Growth: Upright bushy growth, spreading through creeping rhizome horstartig. Lumber base
Height / width: 8 to 120cm high, 10 to 60cm wide
Location: Sunny to partially shaded, warm and protected. Prefer a sunny spot, also on a warm south wall. Nutrient and humus rich, as well as very well drained soil
Planting time: May be picked from seed in the house (germination period 15-30 days at 18-22 degrees Celsius) from February to March or sown directly from about May into the field
Cut: After flowering, later autumn or spring near the ground. If you cut in the spring, you can now and then also enjoy a re-flowering in the autumn
Partner: Honorary Prize, Goldenrod, Girl's Eye, Evening Primrose, Sage, Summer Marguerite
Propagation: cutting cuttings from late spring to summer; develop quickly and flower quickly. Can also be shared in the fall. Sowing from April to May possible. Keeping the soil moist, germinates after about 2 weeks
Care: In the spring compost or long-term fertilizer. Water in case of dryness regularly
Wintering: Only partially hardy, is grateful for protection with brushwood. In very harsh areas or winters, it should better winter in the house frost-free
Diseases / Pests: Is very popular with snails, otherwise without problems
Sometimes also called Red Beard Thread or Garden Beard Thread or Perennial Beard Thread
The original species is native to Mexico and southwestern America
Very good cut flower, as it flowers reliably even with regular cut for the vase
Fits well in the rock garden
Can be kept well in the bucket
Many hybrids are cultivated only once a year, but even perennials are not long-lived
Popular insect pasture
Unfortunately, quite unknown plant
Species (selection of 250 species)
Mountain Beard Thread (Penstemon alpinus)
Height 15-25cm. Blooms from May to June in violet-blue, partly slightly reddish
Thimble Beard Thread (Penstemon digitalis)
Height 70-100cm. Blooms from July to August. Valid as frost-proof
Needle-leaved beard thread (Penstemon pinifolius)
Evergreen. Blooms in bright orange red almost all summer long. More like needle-like foliage. Heat-friendly type. Rainwater is sufficient, so it does not need to be watered additionally. Is relatively frost hardy. Comes from Mexico and the southwestern United States
Shaggy Beard Thread (Penstemon hirsutus)
Height 60cm. Blooms in summer with very long and strikingly narrow flowers in pale violet with white throat. Has hairy flowers and stems with rather dark green leaves. Comes from the northeast as well as the middle of the USA
Rough-haired dwarf thread (Penstemon hirsutus var. Pygmaeus)
Dwarf form of Shaggy Beard Thread. Height 8-10cm. Has slightly smaller and not quite as narrow flowers as the big sister, but also flowers in pale purple. Requires winter protection
Variegated beard thread (Penstemon heterophyllus)
Height 40-50cm. Blooms in summer with 2.5-3.5cm long blooms in dark violet-pink, sometimes appearing almost blue. 2.5-5cm long leaves in blue-green. Greased at the base well. Comes from California
(Penstemon davidsonii var. Menziesii)
Height 15cm, 20cm wide. Blooms in purple-pink in summer. Rather rounded leaves in bright green. Semi evergreen. Half-shrub spreading out creeping
(Penstemon glaber)
Height 45-60cm, 60cm wide. Blooms in summer in pink or blue-violet with light to white tip. 3.5-10cm long leaves, flowers are 2.5-3.5cm tall. Semi-evergreen shrub with fast woody base. Hardy. Comes from Wyoming
(Penstemon newberryi)
Blooms in intense pink in early summer. Is native in mountainous regions
(Penstemon rupicola)
Flowers in light pink in late spring
(Penstemon serrulatus)
Height 30-80cm. Flowers in late summer to fall with relatively small (about 2cm), tubular to bob-like, sitting in fairly dense clusters of flowers in violet-blue. Sawn, broadly lanceolate, 2.5-10cm long leaves in dark green. Is native of Oregon to the south of Alaska, so good frost hardy
(Penstemon x gloxinioides)
Group of hybrids bred from the species Penstemon cobaea and Penstemon hartwegii in the mid-19th century. Very large deep red to dark pink flowers with white throat. Are the largest flowers of the species. Unfortunately, very sensitive to cold and only short-lived, it is still rarely cultivated
Varieties (selection)
Alice Hindley: Also called Gentianoides. Height 100-120cm. Blooms in lilac, slightly bluish with a slightly white opening. Large (about 4.5cm) flowers. Not very stable, requires good support. Only sparely leafy. Good hardy. Older strain, was already bred in 1931
'Souvenir to Friedrich Hahn: Also called' garnet '. Height 75-80cm, 60cm wide. Blooms from summer to frost in dark pink to dark red. Somewhat sensitive to frost
Apple Blossom: Perennial. Height 60cm, as wide. Blooms in mid-summer to mid-autumn with soft pink flowers with white throat. Very hardy
'Bev Jensen. Flowers in red
'Blackbird: Perennial. Height 60cm, as wide. Flowers in mid-summer to mid-autumn in burgundy to dark purple. Good hardy
'Blue Springs: height 30cm. Fells through gentian blue flowers
'Burford White: See below the variety' White Bedder
'Chester Scarlet: Perennial. Height 60cm, 45cm wide. Flowers in midsummer to mid-autumn in scarlet, some flowers are slightly white. Good hardy
Coccineus: height 100cm. Well-known and very popular variety. Bloom from July to September in purple
'Connies Pink: height 100-120cm. Exceptionally narrow flowers in pink. Stems are slightly hairy
'Edithiae: height 30cm, as wide. Blooms in purple-pink in spring to early summer. Very hardy
'Evelyn: height 80cm. Rich in pale pink flowering. Breeding from the famous Slieve Donard nursery in Northern Ireland. sensitive to frost
'Garnet: Flowers in pomegranate red. Good hardy
'Gentianoides: See above the variety' Alice Hindley
'Garnet: See above the variety' keepsake of Friedrich Hahn
'Hidcote Pink: height 100-120cm. Flowers in light pink with dark stripes. Gray-green foliage. sensitive to frost
'Hollys White: Flowers in white. Is by far the most popular strain in America
'Huskers Red Strain: Thimble Beard Thread. Exceptional bronze-purple leaves with contrasting white flowers in July and August. Good hardy
Joy: Perennial. Height 60cm, 45cm wide. Blooms in mid-summer until mid-autumn with warm pink flowers with lighter dark striped throat. Good hardy
'Maurice Gibbs: Flowers in red with white throat
'Mother of Pearl: Flowers in pink to lilac. Good hardy
'Pennington Gem: height 70-80cm. Dark pink-pink flowers with a bright throat
'Phoenix®: height 30cm. Blooms from June to September in bright red with pure white center
'Pretty Petticoat: newer variety. Height 40cm. Blooms from June to September in pink-purple flowers with white-pink center. Smells pleasant
'Royal White: See below the variety' White Bedder
'Rubicunda: height 30cm. Flowers in intense purple from June to August
'Schönholzen: hybrid variety with conspicuously large thimble-like flowers in scarlet
'Snow Storm: See below the variety' White Bedder
'Stapleford Gem: height 100cm. Depending on the weather and pH of the soil, the color changes from dark pink to pure purple. sensitive to frost
'Thorn: height 80-100cm. Narrow flowers in tender pink to white
'White Bedder: Also called Burford White, Royal White or Snow Storm. Height 80cm. Blooms in white, more creamy to yellowish or pale pink. Buds are usually slightly pink. Somewhat sensitive to frost

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