A tall and vigorous border penstemon with flowers of soft purple for a long period in summer and autumn. Thought to have been introduced by Margery Fish.
This is the rare, correct 'Sour Grapes'. Many nurseries wrongly sell as 'Stapleford Gem' as Sour Grapes. This seems to be a mix up due to an honest mistake at the Beth Chatto nursery several decades ago. We sell this both because they are both wonderful Penstemons.
'Sour Grapes' has been given the RHS Award for Garden Merit.
Loved by bees.
Hardy in all but the harshest winters.
Penstemons really are fantastic plants for any border. They don't seem to suffer from any pest or disease and even the slugs avoid them. On top of that, they flower for months on end, right into autumn when many other plants have given up for the winter. They look equally at home in a traditional cottage garden bed, or a stylish modern design.
Penstemons can be divided into roughly two types. Border hybrids, which grow to between 60 and 80cm and are very colourful, and species Penstemons which are usually lower growing with smaller flowers. Nearly all originate from North America. Border hybrids tend to flower from June to October and species for a shorter period, earlier in the season.