Our mission is to share the wonders of the natural world by publishing books from experts in the fields of gardening, horticulture, and natural history. Grow with us.


By Robert Nold

With some 270 species, Penstemon is the largest genus endemic to North America, with examples to be found in every state in the continental U.S. Penstemons are particularly beloved by rock gardeners, but as Panayoti Kelaidis points out in his foreword, they belong in every garden, since "one penstemon or another will thrive in virtually any microclimate a garden can contrive, from hot, desert exposures to dank shade."

Awards for this book: Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Book

Media reviews

"The only book I know that gives up–to–date information about this genus of about 250 species of very desirable, dependable flowering plants. ... It's the perfect book to give someone if you are trying to stimulate interest in perrenial gardening."

—Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post

"Nold's enthusiasm for penstemons is so strong that the reader will be tempted to try these plants in the rock garden, perennial border, native plant area or in containers."

—Joanne S. Carpender, National Gardener

"The style is humorous and readable ... {with] beautiful watercolors as well as many pages of color photographs ... this is a great book to take road-botanizing at penstemon bloom time."

—Ginny Maffitt, Rock Garden Quarterly

"Robert Nold writes in an amusing, enthusiastic style."

—Gail Harland, Cottage Gardener

"For anyone interested in the species of Penstemon, this is a thorough and readable book. It is clearly written, often amusing and always brimming with Robert Nold's enthusiasm for this beautiful genus."

—Richard Wilford, Curtis's Botanical Magazine

"The plaudits must and surely will, go to the author Bob Nold, for his painstaking work in putting this book together ... This book bears all the hallmarks of not only an expert botanist but a passionate gardener ... This book will undoubtedly remain the reference work on this genus for many, many years to come."

Alpine Gardener

"Writing a book about penstemons requires very careful walking the razor edge between talking platitudes and talking above the reader's head. Bob Nold walks this treacherous path beautifully. His language is clear and when he uses a necessary botanical term you can find it in a glossary, but the writing is also personal, sometimes acerbic, and often amusing."

—Geoffrey Charlesworth, Rock Garden Quarterly

"If you are a frustrated, wanna-be penstemon gardener, be sure to read this book."


"The author's enthusiasm for penstemons is so persuasive that the reader will surely be tempted to experiment with a broader range of these versatile plants in the perennial border or in the rock garden."

Biology Digest

"Usefully illustrated with wonderful botanical watercolours and with photographs which show the plants in their natural (and often unlikely) conditions."

—Peter Miles, Gardens Illustrated

"The book will be of great value to any student of the genus, botanical or horticultural, and essential for any botanical or horticultural library."


"Nold's dual perspectives, botany and horticulture, have merged into a beautifully written book about a genus he clearly loves, Penstemon."

—Judy Mielke, American Gardener

"You will find plenty of good, accessible information here, with a glossary to explain some of those scary technical words. Most importantly, Nold's enthusiasm for penstemons is contagious and I think will encourage any reader to try growing them."

—Ethel Fried, Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer

"This book stands out from many other horticultural works due to the clarity of its style and the balance of its perspective."

Plant Science Bulletin

"Fired with enthusiasm for these delightful plants, Robert Nold's books is the first place to which I shall turn for inspiration on what penstemon to try next. He writes superbly."

—Simon Thornton-Wood, Garden (Peterborough)

"The excellent illustrations will help the gardener to identify unknown plants."

Journal of the Scottish Rock Garden Club

"The drawings and photos will convince you to try these plants."

—Marty Figley, Michigan Observer and Eccentric

"A fascinating treatise of major topics ... offering the gardener ready help in growing what, according to the author, is an easily grown beauty."

—Jan Hale Barbo, Santa Fe New Mexican

"This is a 'must' book for anyone interested in Penstemon, especially for those in the midwest USA. It is the most complete, one-stop source of information on penstemon gardening in the USA that is currently available."

—Dale T. Lindgren, Rock Garden Quarterly

About the author

Robert Nold

Robert Nold is a member of numerous plant societies, including the Alpine Garden Society and the North American Rock Garden Society, and a regular writer for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the Colorado Gardener. Bob enjoys his garden in Lakewood, Colorado, with his wife, Cindy.

Read more about Robert Nold

View large jacket image

This book is print-on-demand

It cannot be ordered from TimberPress.com. However, you can buy it from other online retailers: