Beard Tongue is one of the showier native Penstemon with large white flowers arranged in a large cluster. An easy to grow native perennial, it is very adaptable to sandy soils as well and more loamy locations.
The basal leaves have short stalks, but the opposite leaves on the flower stem do not which gives Beard Tongue a nice form and highlights the large flower clusters.
Penstemon is derived from thee Greek word pente = 5, and stemon = stamen, meaning 5 stamens. Only 4 of the 5 stamens are fertile. (Wildflowers of Wisconsin)
The style develops later and in doing so lowers its stigma downwards to prevent bees from entering the flower.
This tiny sweat bee is a regular visitor to the Beard Tongue flowers.
Beard Tongue thrives in full or partial sun and mesic, loamy soils. It does reseed around the parent plant.
|Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP).|
2011. North American Plant Atlas. Chapel Hill, N.C.
Beard Tongue is native to eastern North America. Some references indicate that it has possibly naturalized and not originally native to the upper midwest states such as Wisconsin and Minnesota.