A native plant breeder needs to have several key traits to be successful. They need to have sure hands and fingers for the delicate flower manipulation steps they will perform to make controlled crosses. They need to be organized so they have parent plants flowering together at a time of year when they can spend hours making crosses. They need to understand flower structure and the basics of how flowers work to produce the next generation. Finally, they need to know what traits make penstemon plants a good choice to grow and which types of penstemon have those traits. When these skills and knowledge are combined with work, new types of penstemon can be created that will provide people with healthy and beautiful plants for their gardens and landscapes.