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Penstemon digitalis

Foxglove Beardtongue, Smooth White Penstemon

In early summer white or light pink tubular 1" flowers on branching, hollow stalks rising above a basal rosette of lustrous dark green leaves. Drought tolerant, tough as nails, and deer resistant. The tubular flowers make an excellent landing pad for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds alike.

Height: 3-5 Feet
Spread: 18 Inches
Zone: 3-8
Color: White

Foxglove Beardtongue Characteristics & Attributes

Part Sun
Soil Moisture Needs
Good Drainage
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Nature Attraction
Critter Resistance
Deer Resistant
Growth Rate
Dry Sun
Cut Flower
Open Pollinated
Drought Tolerant
Roadside Planting
Native to US
Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips for Foxglove Beardtongue

Prefers average to moist, well-drained soil in full to partial sun. Penstemon digitalis is drought tolerant but grows poorly in heavy clay soils. Great for wild and perennial gardens, xeriscaping as well as naturalized areas.

Interesting Notes

This penstemon is a clump-forming, Missouri-native perennial which typically grows 3-5' tall and occurs in prairies, fields, wood margins, open woods and along railroad tracks. Features white, two-lipped, tubular flowers (to 1.25" long) borne in panicles atop erect, rigid stems. Flowers bloom mid-spring to early summer. Basal leaves are elliptic and stem leaves are lance-shaped to oblong. Penstemon in Greek means five stamens (four are fertile and one is sterile). Penstemon is sometimes commonly called beard tongue because the sterile stamen has a tuft of small hairs. Kemper Center for Home Gardening

Beardtongues get their name from the single sterile stamen that bears a tuft of hairs. This thread-like male organ protrudes from the flower like a "tongue." There are four fertile stamens as well, hence the generic name Penstemon, from the Greek paene, "almost", and stamon, "thread" (filament) or "almost a stamen." Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center