This is an adorable little penstemon. Not only is it cute, but it is endemic to southwest Montana and adjacent Idaho and Wyoming. That means it's found there, and nowhere else. 

 

If you have been looking for something to brighten up a sunny rock garden, the edge of a non-crowded prairie planting, or even a well-drained container, this should be on your list. It has compact bunches of narrow waxy leaves and groups of pinkish-purple flowers that nod slightly on 6" stems. Stiff-leaf penstemon naturally occurs on dry rocky slopes and ridges, so wherever you decide to plant it, good drainage is a must. 

 

Like all penstemons, bees love it and bumblebees seem especially attracted. Plant with alberta penstemon and fuzzy-tongue penstemon for a stunning floral display (they all bloom around the same time and prefer similar habitat). Add sticky cinquefoil for some yellow contrast, and prairie junegrass as a backdrop. 

stiff-leaf penstemon

  • Penstemon aridus