Scarlet bugler

Penstemon centranthifolius


The Scarlet bugler penstemon is an upright species, growing 2-3 ft. high, with distinctive gray foliage and orange-red flowers. Widely distributed throughout dry coastal and inland foothill zones of California from the Bay Area into Mexico. It’s common name refers to the scarlet colored bugle-shaped flowers that appear in spring and ascend above the plant 4-5 ft. tall.

The Scarlet bugler is well suited as a springtime flowering accent plant in California native and Mediterranean gardens on banks and mixed with other flowering perennials around rocks and pathways. It grow best on well drained soils, in full sun and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer.

Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Red
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Rock gardens, Hummingbird plant, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Borders, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces
Height: 2 ft. – 3 ft.
Width: 12 in. – 18 in.