Definition of penstemon in English:


(also pentstemon)

Pronunciation /ˈpɛnstəmən//pɛnˈstiːmən/


  • A North American plant with stems of showy flowers resembling snapdragons.

    • ‘Aside from irises, no garden flower can boast the color range that penstemons offer.’
    • ‘If perennials like agapanthus, candytuft, coreopsis, daylilies, and penstemon are overgrown or not flowering well, it's time to dig and divide them.’
    • ‘From mid-June through July, you should see profuse wildflowers, from the dainty, lavender pasque flowers to penstemons in shades of blue and purple.’
    • ‘All very well is the advice to cut back decaying and gone-over plants, but my penstemons, rudbeckia, etc are still nice and green.’
    • ‘Pink and purple penstemons decorate the outer edges of this sunny bed, with coreopsis and yarrow filling the spaces in between.’
    • ‘Seeds of most hardy perennials - including bleeding heart, butterfly weed, columbine, delphinium, liatris, and penstemon - require a period of chilling to germinate.’
    • ‘With protection, annual vegetables and flowers thrive, as do wind-tolerant perennials like buckwheats, grasses, and penstemons.’
    • ‘When can I divide an overgrown penstemon and take some cuttings?’
    • ‘In fact, some are already blooming, such as my lavender and white penstemons, the dazzling pink and scarlet dianthus, and fragrant navy blue heliotrope.’
    • ‘To attract them to your home, plant red flowers that bloom early, such as red penstemon to serve as a beacon of refuge.’
    • ‘Take heel cuttings from ceanothus, penstemons, lavenders, santolinas and philadelphus.’
    • ‘Some native bees and native plants, including penstemon and salvia, are literally made for each other.’
    • ‘Cottage gardens usually look their best in early summer, but do include plants that peak at different seasons such as early bulbs, wallflowers and violas for spring, plus penstemons, fuchsias and asters which flower into autumn.’
    • ‘These might include shasta daisies, penstemon and physostegia.’
    • ‘Although quite hardy, it is best to give penstemons winter protection with thick mulch and as extra insurance, to take a few summer cuttings.’
    • ‘They hang from the penstemon blossoms like emerald-throated fruits.’
    • ‘Another good reason to choose the penstemon is that it also attracts the beautiful hummingbird!’
    • ‘The best choices include abutilon, agastache, alstroemeria, bee balm, cestrum, cleome, coral bells, fuchsia, honeysuckle, lion's tail, penstemon, red-flowered perennial lobelia, salvia, and zauschneria.’
    • ‘In the beds, rich red and pink penstemons are flowering well as are the dahlias.’
    • ‘In the front is a meadow of native sedge and penstemons, set near a small recirculating stream.’


Modern Latin, formed irregularly from penta- ‘five’ + Greek stēmōn ‘warp’, used to mean ‘stamen’.