Penstemon digitalis

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 4 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: beardtongue
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Plantaginaceae
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
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil

Culture

Grow in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

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. 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.

Genus name comes from the Greek pente meaning five and stemon meaning stamen in reference to the flowers having five stamens.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin digitus meaning finger for flowers that look like the finger of a glove.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot can occur in wet, poorly-drained soils. Leaf spots are occasional problems.

Garden Uses

Mass in sunny borders, wild gardens, native plant gardens or naturalized areas.