Penstemon 'Dark Towers'
If you grow Penstemon, you need to grow 'Dark Towers'
This is the type of perennial landscape designers discuss in house & garden articles. A planting of 'Dark Towers' ranks as an arboretum-caliber display: bold and dramatic. Stiffly upright and well-foliated, the perennial wraps itself in tropical stylings with willowy leaves arranged in pairs as they climb the flowering stem.
No one overlooks the wine red leaves. Darker than 'Husker Red', they stay dark for the full season. Intense summer sun actually helps the leaves stay so dark.
Foliage grows about 3-5 feet, topped with spikes of pink flowers that double its height. Look closely and you will see that the flower base starts purple, giving the full display some visual heft. Flowers also last much longer than expected.
After the flowers come the decorative seed pods, which other Penstemon varieties don’t do nearly as well. These resemble black pearls and add an abundance of texture to summer gardens and autumn grasses.
'Dark Towers' has low water requirements and is happy with nothing more than natural rainfall. It thrives in summer heat and also puts up with the wet winters and rough springs so common in the east of the continent. In fact, the plant needs that winter bite to break dormancy and initiate the season’s growth.
When 'Dark Towers' matures, a single plant can generate a clump about 30 inches around; once it sizes up, the stand can last over 15 years. In other words, it’s drama that does not need frequent replacement.