Dr. Dale T. Lindgren is a retired professor of horticulture from the University of Nebraska’s Lincoln West Central Research and Extension Center, Nebraska (USA). His research emphasis was in developing ornamental plants adapted to soil and climatic conditions of the Great Plains, focusing on native plants. He also was involved in the dry edible bean breeding program.
In total, Dr. Lindgren has released 25 selections of ornamental plants through the University of Nebraska’s plant breeding program. He counts his work with Penstemon among the highlights of his career. Penstemon ‘Husker Red’ was selected as the 1996 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association. The American Penstemon Society also awarded him the Glenn Viehmeyer Award “For Developing Penstemon Hybrids of Merit.”
While some pretty Penstemons are too tender, some tougher types aren’t so pretty. Dr. Lindgren’s Penstemon selections ‘Sweet Joanne’ and ‘Prairie Twilight’ combine the best attributes of the genus, so you don’t have to choose.
Named for his wife, ‘Sweet Joanne’ has lots of light lavender-pink flowers that bloom heavily and continuously from late May through June. ‘Prairie Twilight’s’ flowers are deeper pink with white tips. Both are vigorous, non-aggressive growers that form uniform, heavy-blooming upright stands. Hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 4 (-34°C).