According to my husband, this plant has a bit of an alien look about it. It's called Penstemon, or Beardtongue. I get where the beardtongue name comes from and if you zoom in on the bloom, you'll see too. It is kind of peculiar looking but it sure adds interest to my containers. Multiple flowers bloom on each stem and it attracts bees (which I've seen plenty of) and hummingbirds (yet to appear--but I'm hopeful). Penstemon is supposed to be hardy to zone 5 but I planted it last year and it did not return. Maybe I'll have better luck this time around.
Oh, and one more thing: I read that Native Americans used Penstemon root to relieve toothaches. Well, toothaches are rare for me but it's still nice to know that I am growing a plant that is not only attractive, but that might tide me over if it's a while before I can get a dental appointment.
Bookshelf: Container Gardening Books