Common Name: beardtongue
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
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.
Needs full sun for best foliage color.
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.
'Husker Red' typically grows 2-3' tall. Features white (sometimes with a pink blush), two-lipped, tubular flowers borne in panicles atop erect, rigid stems. Flowers bloom mid-spring to early summer. Leaves are maroon (hence the cultivar name). Basal leaves are elliptic and stem leaves are lance-shaped to oblong. Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year (1996).
No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot can occur in wet, poorly-drained soils. Leaf spots are occasional problems.
Flowering can be quite profuse and support is sometimes necessary.
Mass in sunny borders. Also effective as accent or specimen.