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Penstemon davidsonii v.davidsonii
  • Common name: Davidson’s Penstemon
  • Zone: 3?
  • Exposure: Sun / Part shade
  • Height x Width: 3 in. x 12 in.
  • Native to: Western US

Davidson’s Penstemon is a choice landscape plant with a low, sprawling woody structure that allows it to function like a ground cover. If given some sun protection in winter it will be completely evergreen. Lavender tubular flowers show up in late spring. Likes well-drained soils.

 

Penstemon davidsonii var. menziesii
  • Common name: Menzies’ Penstemon
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun/Part shade
  • Height x Width: 2" x 12"
  • Native to: Oregon, Washington & British Columbia

Small shiny leaves on prostrate stems with small pink-purple blooms in late spring. This ground-hugging Penstemon crawls around rocks and underneath larger plants. Excellent Rock Garden plant. Choice.

Penstemon deustus
  • Common name: Hot Rock Penstemon
  • Zone: 5
  • Exposure: Sun/part shade
  • Height x Width: 12" x 12"
  • Native to: Idaho

This local Penstemon grows in the most unlikely places, from the ‘Hot Rocks’ for which it is named to open spaces in a Ponderosa Forest. Fairly common in the foothills above Boise. Its showy white flowers attract numerous pollinators and other insects. More information here.

Penstemon digitalis
  • Common name: Foxglove Penstemon
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun/Part shade
  • Height x Width: 3’ x 2
  • Native to: Central/Eastern US

A substantial penstemon with spikes of white to pale pink flowers in June. Unlike most penstemons, it prefers slightly moist, well-drained soil in full sun or part shade.

Penstemon eatonii
  • Common name: Firecracker Penstemon
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 40 in. x 24 in.
  • Native to: Southwest US

Firecracker Penstemon has vivid red blooms, dark green basal leaves. Upright, woody-based, evergreen or semi-evergreen perennial with blue-green leaves. In early summer, bears tubular, bright scarlet flowers. Prefers poor to moderately fertile, well drained soil and full sun. Great for dry desert-scapes. Pollinators: hummingbirds and bees.

 

Penstemon fruticosus
  • Common name: Shrubby Penstemon
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun / Part shade
  • Height x Width: 12-16 in. x 8-12 in.
  • Native to: Idaho

Shrubby Penstemon is an unusual woody, upright, evergreen penstemon with abundant lavender tubular flowers in early summer. Foliage turns soft yellow in autumn with purple-green flower spikelets.

Penstemon fruticosus, dwarf form
  • Common name: Dwarf Shrubby Penstmon
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun / Part shade
  • Height x Width: 6-8 in. x 8-10 in.
  • Native to: (Cultivar of native plant)

Dwarf Shrubby Penstemon is a compact version of the native Shrubby Penstemon and quite similar to Davidson’s Penstemon. Gorgeous lavender flowers in late spring. Evergreen mounds are beautiful in winter. Charming!

Penstemon grandiflorus
  • Common name: Large Flower Penstemon
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 2-3' x 1'
  • Native to: Midwest

One of the showiest of all North American native Penstemons, Penstemon grandiflorus can reach heights of three feet with stunning pink to purple flowers. The plant’s beautiful vertical structure and succulent gray-green foliage, make it a very unique Penstemon.

Penstemon richardsonii
  • Common name: Richardson's Penstemon
  • Zone: 5
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 30 in. x 30 in.
  • Native to: Eastern Oregon and Washington

Richardson’s is a wonderful and easy Penstemon for filling in spaces in the garden or tumbling down banks on trailing stems. Unlike most penstemons, this one starts blooming late, producing a charming profusion of rosy purple flowers that lasts from early summer nearly until frost. It re-seeds readily and multiplies in the garden.

Penstemon strictus
  • Common name: Rocky Mountain Penstemon
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun / part shade
  • Height x Width: 24 in. x 24 in.
  • Native to: Mountain West

Rocky Mountain Penstemon has violet-blue flower spikes over leathery foliage. Attracts hummingbirds. Long-lived, reliable bloomer. Forms low evergreen clumps, easy and reliable; deadhead for re-bloom. Pollinators: bees.

Penstemon venustus
  • Common name: Lovely Penstemon
  • Zone: 5
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 3 ft. x 3 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Lovely Penstemon is a vigorous evergreen native penstemon with large, gorgeous tubular lavender flowers in late spring. Cut back seed heads to encourage re-bloom. Pollinators: bees.

Philadelphus lewisii
  • Common name: Syringa, Mock Orange
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun / part shade
  • Height x Width: 4-10 ft. x 6-8 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Syringa or Mock Orange is a deciduous shrub with lovely four petaled flowers, incredible fragrance. In the wild, Syringa grows in variety of habitats, from streambanks to lava flows. Can adjust to very low water sites. Idaho state flower.

Pterocephalus depressus
  • Common name: Carpeting Pincushion Flower
  • Zone: 5
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 2" and spreading
  • Native to: Morrocco

Charming, low-growing rock garden plant or small-scale groundcover. Finely cut evergreen foliage creeps across the ground, sprouting pincushion-like mauve flowers in late spring. Attractive seedhead tufts follow.

Purshia stansburiana
  • Common name: Stansbury Cliffrose
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 5 - 7' x 5 - 6'
  • Native to: Idaho, also: CA, AZ, NV, NM,UT, CO

A stout, upright shrub or subtree growing to head-high or higher. Produces many pale yellow, wildrose-type flowers in the spring, each of which produces five feathery plumes with a seed attached. Related to bitterbrush.

Rosa woodsii
  • Common name: Woods Rose
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun / part shade
  • Height x Width: 4 ft. x 4 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Woods Rose has fragrant, pink rose flowers which profusely bloom. A freely suckering native. Can bloom in full shade as well as full sun.

Saponaria ocymoides
  • Common name: Rock Soapwort
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 4-6” and spreading
  • Native to: Europe

Rock Soapwort is a vigorous, low creeping plant, useful for spilling down sunny slopes or over rock walls. Plants form a low mound of bright-green leaves, literally smothered by starry bright-pink flowers in late spring or early summer. Also useful as an edging in the sunny border, and worth considering in tubs or pots. Prune plants back hard immediately after blooming, to maintain a compact habit.

Sidalcea neomexicana
  • Common name: New Mexico Checkermallow
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 2’ x 1’
  • Native to: Western US, including Idaho

This native Checkermallow is a charming wildflower sporting dozens of small hollyhock-like blooms. Found in the wild in moist meadows, but it does well in moderately irrigated gardens. Supports native pollinators.

Solidago canadensis
  • Common name: Canada Goldenrod
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun/part shade
  • Height x Width: 2' x 2'
  • Native to: Idaho

This widespread native is an excellent pollinator plant, as well as being extremely drought tolerant once established. Its only drawback is that it spreads by root and can be quite aggressive in a well-watered garden.

Sphaeralcea coccinea
  • Common name: Scarlet Globemallow
  • Zone: 4-5
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 6-8" and spreading
  • Native to: Intermountain West, including Idaho

This low-growing Globemallow travels by root and colonizes very dry areas with poor soil. Tolerates clay. Flower color can vary from orange to red. More information here.

Sphaeralcea grossulariifolia
  • Common name: Gooseberry Globemallow
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 2-3 ft. x 2-3 ft.
  • Native to: Idaho

Gooseberry Globemallow’s red-orange flowers bloom in spring & summer. Attracts all kinds of native pollinators.

Tanacetum densum
  • Common name: Partridge Feather
  • Zone: 4
  • Exposure: Sun / part shade
  • Height x Width: 6 in. & spreading
  • Native to: Mediterranean

Partridge Feather is a low-growing, no-care tough, grey-green groundcover with lovely feather-shaped leaves. Good for sun or part shade, little water. Evergreen.

Veronica incana
  • Common name: Silver Speedwell
  • Zone: 3
  • Exposure: Sun
  • Height x Width: 10 in. x 15 in.
  • Native to: Eurasia

Silver Speedwell has deep purple/blue flowers in early summer on 10” flower spikes over attractive gray-green foliage. The evergreen foliage serves as a small-scale groundcover.