Located in the high desert of the Intermountain West – where summers are long and hot, and annual precipitation is minimal – the Idaho Botanical Garden is an ideal place to grow penstemons. In fact, western North America is particularly rich in penstemons, with Idaho alone being home to at least 42 species. With that in mind, partnering with the Plant Collection Network to develop a nationally accredited collection of Western US Penstemons was an obvious decision.
In the beginning we were working with limited resources, but a grant from the American Penstemon Society in 2011 helped us move the process forward. In 2012, our small but growing collection was awarded provisional status, allowing us time to improve our record keeping and make plans for maintaining our collection in perpetuity. We were awarded full collection status in the fall of 2014.
We are proud to be the home for this collection, and we are honored to be part of this distinguished network of plant collections. We aim to continue to cultivate our Penstemon collection into the world-class collection that it can be.