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Beardtongue, White

Penstemon digitalis

Grow almost anywhere & establish quickly; penstemon bee (Osmia distincta) relies on beardtongue for food



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Penstemon digitalis, commonly called White Beardtongue or Foxglove Beardtongue, is a native perennial forb (wildflower).

Wildlife notes

The tubular flowers of this plant attract long-tongued bees, including honeybees, bumblebees, Anthophorine bees, Miner bees, Mason bees, and large Leaf-Cutting bees. To a lesser extent, Halictid bees, butterflies, Sphinx moths, and hummingbirds may visit the flowers, but they are not effective pollinators. The caterpillars of the moth Elaphria chalcedonia (Chalcedony Midget) feed on the foliage of this and other beardtongues. There have been reports that the caterpillars of the butterfly Euphydryes phaeton (Baltimore) feed on the foliage of various beardtongues. The seeds are not often eaten by birds, nor is the foliage an attractive source of food to mammalian herbivores.

Forage notes

We have observed that cattle actually eat this species regularly.

Landscaping notes

Best grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerant of occasional drought and inundation once established. Can be grown in clay soils but avoid overly wet, poorly drained conditions. Deer resistant. Mass plant in sunny borders, rain gardens, wild gardens, native plant gardens or naturalized areas. Excellent for fresh cut flower arrangements.

Restoration notes

Habitats include mesic black soil prairies, openings in upland and floodplain forests, woodland borders, thickets, savannas, acid gravel seeps, pastures, and abandoned fields.

This species is commonly used in the following mixes: Prairie Patchwork Mix, Buck’s Hangout Mix, Wildlife Chuckwagon mix, Wet Meadow Mix

Videos About This Plant

To learn more about this plant, check out our videos about it and its uses.

Wet Meadow Mix | Native Wildflower Mix

Prairie Patchwork | Native Wildflower Mix


Additional information

Weight N/A

Packet, Ounce, Pound


Full Sun to Part Shade

Seeding Rate

4 bulk lbs/acre


Dry, Average, Moist



Bloom Month

Jun, Jul



Specialty Uses

Hummingbird, Landscaping, Cut Flower

Cattle Palatability


# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.