Penstemon mensarum

Grand Mesa Beardtongue

  • Blue Penstemon mensarum, Penstemon mensarum, Grand Mesa Beardtongue

Grand Mesa Beardtongue is a rare beauty native to the slopes of western Colorado. Its stunning in bloom with numerous deep cobalt-blue flowers held over attractive evergreen foliage. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).

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Zones 4 - 8
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Annual Rainfall
10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40" (with care)
Bloom Time Late spring
Shipping Shipping begins in early September, coldest zones first. Buy now and we'll ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Learn More…
Size Plant - 2.5" deep pot
SKU 75749


18" tall x 12-15" wide (seed propagated). The richly colored, deep cobalt-blue and lavender flowers of Penstemon mensarum will leave you in awe. When planted with other late spring bloomers like lemon- yellow Achillea Moonshine and red Salvia greggii Furman's Red, you will have a traffic- stopping color combination. Grand Mesa Beardtongue grows to form a sturdy semi-woody plant with deep glossy green foliage. A long-lived Penstemon when grown in a lean, well- drained soil where it gets a lot of sun. Clip off the bloomed-out flower spikes right at their base, then thin out and shape the stems at the base of the plant for a profusion of flowers the next spring.

SKU 75749
Common Name Grand Mesa Beardtongue
Botanical Name Penstemon mensarum
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Light Requirements Full Sun
Flower Color Blue
Mature Height 18" tall
Mature Spread 12-15" wide
Bloom Time Late spring
Ships As Potted Plant
Native Yes
Planting Season Fall
Soil Type Sandy Soil, Average Soil
Soil Moisture Waterwise
Amount of Rain 10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40" (with care)
Ideal Region Anywhere In The US
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Canada No

Planting Guides

Tips for growing Penstemon (Beardtongue)

Penstemon are generally evergreen and have beautiful flowers that are very attractive to hummingbirds. Most varieties are rabbit resistant.

  1. They need “elbow room”, maximum sun, heat and don’t like to be crowded by other plants.
  2. Plant only in well-drained soils; clay soils and Penstemon are incompatible.
  3. Avoid overly enriched soils; too much compost and fertilizer will shorten their life span.
  4. They establish quickly and the amount and frequency of watering needs to be reduced after about 8 to 10 weeks to create dry conditions.
  5. When using drip irrigation, be sure to put the emitter off to the side of the plant, not right on top of the root ball to avoid overwatering the plant.
  6. Plant high, leaving the top of the rootball just above the surrounding soil to avoid burying the crown of the plant.
  7. Mulch with gravel or pine needles in arid climates. No mulch is needed where conditions are moister. Always avoid bark, grass clippings, or compost as mulch materials.
  8. Allow some of the plants to set seed (don't deadhead all of the flower spikes)*.
  9. Fertilize sparingly. One time each year in the fall is enough. Apply a light application of an organic or natural fertilizer such as Yum Yum Mix as a top dressing around the plants. Don't use high nitrogen water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro

*To keep penstemon that have finely textured or matted evergreen foliage looking their best, you'll want to 'deadhead" them. Shear off the fading flowering spikes just as the plant is going out of flower. Gently bunch the flower spikes together with one hand and cut them off at the point where they go down into the mat of foliage with your clipper in your other hand.

Recommended for the following varieties: P. pinifolius types (‘Compactum', ‘Mersea Yellow', ‘Nearly Red', ‘Magdalena Sunshine' and ‘Tall Orange Mix'), as well as Penstemon linarioides v. coloradensis and Penstemon virens ('Blue Lips').

More in-depth guidance for growing Penstemon: Penstemon for the Waterwise Garden, David’s Favorite Plants: Pineleaf Beardtongue, The Beardtongue Family: Penstemania for Penstemon and The Genus Penstemon; The Royalty of American Wildflowers The Genus Penstemon; The Royalty of American Wildflowers (Part 2).

View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.


Our Standard Plant Shipping is 3 Days!

Plant Shipping: Buy now and we will ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Your plant orders are scheduled to arrive within 3 days or less of leaving our greenhouses. This prompt delivery is provided without additional express charges.

Grass Plugs & Seed: Most orders ship within 5-8 business days (all zones).

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Standard shipping costs are $4.99 and up, depending on the size of the order.

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USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

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