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Gulf Coast Penstemon, Penstemon tenuis | Wildflower Wednesday




A year or two ago I purchased this gulf coast penstemon from a nursery. Or maybe I started it from seed. I honestly can’t recall at this time. But I’ve been watching the basal rosettes of this particular plant and several others and biding my time for blooms. Every so often the deer come by and chomp the leaves and set the plants back and I figured I would never get to see the blooms. It really is trial and error here with the deer. You can’t take anything labeled “deer resistant” at face value. I have begun to notice which plant families are actually more deer resistant and have been heavily leaning on those while also sneaking in more palatable plants and hoping for the best.

This year the deer *crossing fingers and not jinxing myself* spent more time away. Maybe because we’ve been home a lot in the last month, I’m not sure. But the gulf coast penstemon sent up a flower spike and I kept anxiously watching every day. And then blooms! So exciting! If it sets seed I’ll throw some out into the garden for self sowing and then also try to sow some in pots and see what ends up working out better.

Hurray for a native plant with gorgeous blooms and hopefully it will thrive in the garden for years to come!

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