Common Name: beardtongue
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Native Range: Eastern and southeastern United States
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil
Grow in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils.
Penstemon digitalis 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.
Genus name comes from the Greek words penta meaning five and stemon meaning stamen in reference to each flower having five stamens (four are fertile and one is sterile).
Specific epithet comes from the Latin digitus meaning finger for flowers that look like the finger of a glove.
Penstemon is sometimes commonly called beard tongue because the sterile stamen has a tuft of small hairs.
No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot can occur in wet, poorly-drained soils. Leaf spots are occasional problems.
Mass in sunny borders, wild gardens, native plant gardens or naturalized areas.