Penstemon smallii (Small's Penstemon)
Penstemon smallii, native to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, is one of the prettiest Penstemons and wildflowers that I know. Growing from 18 to 30 inches in full sun or dappled shade, its bright green, opposite leaves join at the stem, much like Boneset. In early to late summer, those stems are adorned with rosy lavender, white-throated blossoms that hummingbirds and butterflies fight over. Penstemon smallii is heat and humidity tolerant and prefers well-drained, ordinary soil. It has been my experience that this hardy native wildflower is not particularly long-lived, so be sure to let it reseed each year to ensure its presence somewhere in your garden. "Perennial" in the flower world does not mean "forever" or anything close to that, so please don't shun flowers because they might not meet these expectations. Sun/partial shade in Zones 5-9. Quarts.