variants or less commonly pentstemon
: any of a genus (Penstemon) of perennial, chiefly North American herbs or low shrubs of the snapdragon family typically with spikes of showy, two-lipped, tubular flowers with two lobes on the upper lip and three lobes on the lower lip : beardtongue
In the pastel planting, pink penstemons with upright spikes of tubular flowers contrast with such mounding plants as pinksLynn Ocone

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Every inch of the perimeter is covered with plastic and ceramic pots brimming with buckwheat and verbena, dudleya, penstemon and black sage. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2023 Dark Towers penstemon would be a good choice. Chris Mckeown, The Enquirer, 27 Jan. 2022 What to look for: The Sutherland Trail offers the best assortment of flowers with fields of poppies, cream cups, lupines, penstemon and desert chicory. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 3 Feb. 2023 Nectar-producing plants such as penstemon, bee balm, and columbine are attractive to hummingbirds. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 8 Jan. 2023 Repeat combinations in different beds, such as clusters of alliums, coneflowers and penstemon next to moor grass. Lauren Dunec Hoang, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Sep. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'penstemon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from penta- + Greek stēmōn warp, thread — more at stamen

First Known Use

1760, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of penstemon was in 1760

Dictionary Entries Near penstemon

Cite this Entry

“Penstemon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

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