Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Penstemon smallii Heller
Small's beardtongue, Small's penstemon
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
Numerous, tube-shaped, dark-pink, white-throated flowers are borne on upright, branched stalks up to 2 1/2 ft. high. Differing from other eastern penstemons, the flowering branches extend down into the axils of the leafy stems, giving the plant a bushy appearance. The shiny, opposite
leaves have attractive, dark veins and clasping,
heart-shaped bases. The basal rosette
of leaves turns reddish-bronze in the winter.
Smalls Beardtongue blooms for up to four weeks, much longer than other eastern penstemons. It occurs naturally in places that are in shade for half the day, but also tolerates full sun. A popular flower in mountainous regions of the South.
Image Gallery: 8 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Root Type: Tap Size Notes:
18 to 30 inches Flower:
Flowers 1.5 inches long
Tan Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: lavender colored
AL , GA , NC , SC , TN Native Distribution:
Mountains of NC &TN to AL Native Habitat:
Wood margins; exposed or shaded cliffs & banks USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Light, well-drained soil or sandy and rocky OK. Acidic preferred.
Conditions Comments: Likes moist soil but doesnt like excessive wetness.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Grows in sun and part shade
Conspicuous Flowers: yes