The genus Penstemon is made up of about 250 species of plants that belong to the Scrophulariaceae family. Due to new genetic researches, it has now been placed in the Plantaginaceae family.
Cultivar 'Husker Red' is my favourite. It has white bell shaped flowers and interesting reddish coloured leaves. It is a tall and upright plant that I combined with roses 'Chartreuse de Parme and 'Fantin Latour', hemerocallises and hostas. This herbaceous perennial flowers in April to June, depending on the weather conditions. It needs full sun for the best foliage colour. Plant it in a well drain soil to avoid root rot.
Another cultivar I have is Penstemon hirsutus. The plant is covered with small hairs, hence the name. It has smaller mauve coloured, white tipped flowers. I divided the clumps last autumn and it flowered beautifully. This is a medium-heigh plant with bushy growth and soft green leaves.
They are easy to grow. So far I haven't noticed any pests or diseases on them. After flowering cut off the flower stems.