Penstemon cardwellii

Cardwells Penstemon


Cascade Mountains, and coast range of Oregon

Climate, elevation

Wide range of climates at mid-high elevations

Local occurrence

Found from northern Skamania County in southern Washington south through the Cascades to the Klamath region in southwestern Oregon, and west to the Coast Range where it is found northwards to Tillamook County, OR. Also found in the Columbia River Gorge.

Habitat preferences

Common in open forest, forest edges, open, often rocky slopes, and cutbanks. Prefers light shade to full sun. Tolerant of deer, drought, heat and humidity.

Plant strategy type/successional stage

Late seral to climax species

Associated species

Rubus spp., Ribes spp., Alnus sinuata, Agrostis diegoensis, Luzula parviflora, Anaphalis margaritacea.

May be collected as:

Seed, Cuttings

Collection restrictions or guidelines

Allow pods to dry on plant, break open to collect seeds

Seed germination

1-3 months at 13-18C. Then germinate barely covered in late spring, early fall.

Seed life

Long shelf life

Recommended seed storage conditions

Sealed containers around 1 to 3

Propagation recommendations

From woody stem cuttings: plant in late summer
From seed: direct sow outdoors in late spring, early fall

Winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
Stratify if sowing indoors

Soil or medium requirements

pH 5-7.5

Installation form

Seed, cuttings

Recommended planting density

Not available

Care requirements after installed

Water regularly, do not overwater

Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan


Spreading sprawls across ground rooting at nodes

Sources cited

  1. http://ghs.gresham.k12.or.us/science/ps/nature/gorge/5petal/figwort/penst/cardwell.htm
  2. http://www.backyardgardener.com/plantname/pda_3d61.html
  3. http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/54754/index.html
  4. http://www.kadel.cz/flora/e/kvCard.asp-Id=4642.htm
  5. http://www.msknursery.com/images/plants/penstemon-cardwellii.jpg
  7. Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon. 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska.

Data compiled by

Kelly Sutton

May 10, 2006