Cultivar of foxglove beardtongue with maroon-red leaves, white-pinkish flowers, neon red fall color. A prolific bloomer, it can sometimes flop in in too-rich or overly-amended soils.
This clump-forming perennial has basal leaves, loose, upright stems, and small, tubular flowers. Blooms from late spring through early summer. This is a seed cultivar (seed strain), so each plant can differ some (whiter flowers, more red leaves); if this cultivar is vegetatively propagated, it is clonal and the individual plants have the same properties and colors. It can self-seed and the seedlings stay red-colored.
'Husker Red' is a very versatile, adaptable and tough cultivar for full sun, half shade, and virtually any soil except waterlogged soils! Drought and clay tolerant.
This cultivar unfortunately doesn't attracts as many pollinators as the wild form or some newer cultivars of P. digitalis, but you can still expect some visitors. Some relevant findings have been briefly published by the Chicago Botanical Garden's "Budburst" Nativar Research Program. For its merits, this foxglove was named the Perennial of The Year in 1996 (Perennial Plant Association).
Blooming Time: April/May - June
Size: 2.5-3' tall x 1-2' wide
USDA Zones: 3 to 8
Culture: full sun, half shade; drained soils, clay, sandy, rocky
Moisture Needs: dry to average
Origin: the wild form of Penstemon digitalis is native in the eastern part of the USA (USDA distribution map), where it can be found growing in prairies, meadows, open woods, and along woodland edges (tolerates some shade)
Deer/Rabbit Resistant: yes / yes
Attracts Butterflies or Pollinators: yes / yes; native bees, honey bees, skippers, moths
Attracts Hummingbirds: yes
Pot Size: square 3.5" x 4" deep perennial pot
Plant Combinations: extremely versatile; can be combined with many perennials that have a drier to medium moist soil need (e.g., tall Phlox)
Picture Copyright: US Perennials, LLC