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Penstemon heterophyllus 'Catherine de la Mare' AGM

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© RHS 1999

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Bushy

Resilience

Hardiness

H4 (hardy - average winter)

Colour

Flower

Blue and Purple in Summer

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Stem

Green and Red in

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

penstemon 'Catherine de la Mare'

Family

Plantaginaceae


Penstemon may be deciduous or evergreen perennials or subshrubs, with simple, narrow leaves and racemes or panicles of bell-shaped or funnel-shaped flowers in summer and early autumn

'Catherine de la Mare' is a spreading, woody-based, semi-evergreen perennial to 50cm tall, with dull, bluish-green leaves and dense racemes of purplish-blue flowers 3cm long, borne on reddish stems in summer

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile sharply-drained soil in full sun in a sheltered situation. May need a dry winter mulch in frost prone areas

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Alkaline, Acid or Neutral
  • Loam, Sand or Chalk

Propagation

Take softwood cuttings in early summer or semi-ripe cuttings in midsummer. Divide in spring or propagate by seed in late winter or spring; cultivars will not come true from seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types

City/Courtyard Gardens, Coastal, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Wall-side Borders, Gravel Garden or Rock Garden


How to care

Pruning

Best habit is encouraged by cutting back each year. Prune any winter damaged stems back hard to encourage fresh new growth from the base. After flowering, shorten flowered stems by half (unless seed is required) to encourage further flowering

Pests

Slugs and snails, aphids and leaf and bud eelworm may be troublesome

Diseases

May be affected by grey mould, powdery mildew and fungal leaf spot