Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Penstemon cobaea

Prairie penstemon, Prairie beardtongue, Foxglove penstemon, Foxglove beardtongue, False foxglove, Large-flowered penstemon, Large-flowered beardtongue, Cobaea penstemon, Cobaea beardtongue, Wild foxglove

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Penstemon cobaea (Prairie penstemon)
Henderson, Mary S. and Mary Hall
When in bloom, large, tubular flowers line at least half of cobaea beardtongue’s 1-2 ft. stems. The flowers are white with dark purple lines inside the floral tube. One to three stout stems rise from a woody rhizome and bear thick, paired leaves which become smaller up the stem. The lower leaves have often withered by the time of flowering.

This penstemon attracts a variety of moths.

Image Gallery:

76 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 1-2 feet.
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AZ , AR , CO , IL , IA , KS , MO , NE , NM , OH , OK , TX
Native Distribution: S. NE, s. to s.c. MO, w. AR, OK & e. & c. TX
Native Habitat: Sandy or rocky, open hillsides; limestone outcrops, Loamy soils of Texas across the Rolling Plains and Blackland Prairies south to the Gulf of Mexico.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Calcareous or sandy loam. Rocky, Sandy, Limestone-based, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam Clay
Conditions Comments: Wild foxglove is not related to the true European foxglove. Showy tubular flowers may vary in color from almost white to dark pink to lavender. Cut back the stems after flowering, or wait for the seeds to ripen. This penstemon may go dormant during the summer.


Use Ornamental: Showy, Long-blooming, Blooms ornamental, Perennial garden
Use Wildlife: This penstemon attracts a variety of moths. Nectar-insects, Cover
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Dotted Checkerspot butterfly
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Penstemon cobaea is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Dotted Checkerspot
(Poladryas minuta)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2014-10-07