Stems 30-60cm tall, leafy, rising from a slightly branching caudex. Leaves oblanceolate to ovate, more or less deeply toothed, thick, 3-8cm long. Flowers purple-blue, violet to various red shades. Widespread over a wide elevational range, in many ecosystems throughout northern and central Mexico. Plants in cultivation are frequently hybrids between a number of Mexican taxa. One of the showiest penstemons, reliably hardy only in regions of light frost. Most forms in cultivation are from the larger end of the plant's growth spectrum.