Foothill penstemon is native to coastal ranges from Mexico to Oregon. It commonly grows as an upright shrub in sage scrub and chaparral plant communities where it provides a delightful springtime display of purple and magenta flowers. A popular cultivar, P. h. ‘Margarita BOP’ is most commonly available from nurseries and has a spreading habit, 1-2 ft. high, with deep purple flowers.
Margarita foothill penstemon is a wonderful plant for California native gardens where it can be placed on banks, around boulders and mixed with a variety of native shrubs and perennials. It grows best in full sun, with good drainage, and low amounts of supplemental water during the summer.
Individual plants often only live for a few years, sometimes longer, so it is usually best to use it as an accent along edges of the landscape or in pots, rather than investing in purchasing high numbers of them for the landscape, relying on longer lived shrubs and trees for the majority of the landscape area.