Penstemon cobaea

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: dew flower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Plantaginaceae
Native Range: Southern and central United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: White, pink to violet
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


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

Noteworthy Characteristics

Penstemon cobaea is a clump-forming, Missouri native perennial which occurs on prairies, limestone glades and rocky bluffs. Typically grows 1-2.5' tall. Features loose, terminal panicles of white to violet to deep purple, 2" long, tubular flowers atop erect, rigid, downy stems. Flowers bloom in mid-spring and are somewhat larger than most penstemons. Downy, clasping, lance-shaped upper leaves.

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).

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.


Sunny borders, rock gardens, native plant gardens and wild gardens.