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

 Native Plant Database

Penstemon digitalis

Mississippi penstemon, Mississippi beardtongue, Smooth white penstemon, Smooth white beardtongue, Talus slope penstemon, Talus slope beardtongue, Foxglove penstemon, Foxglove beardtongue

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Penstemon digitalis (Mississippi penstemon)
Flaigg, Norman G.
The foliage of this robust perennial can be semi-evergreen in the South. Its erect, 2-5 ft. stems are topped with stalked clusters of white, tubular, unevenly five-lobed flowers which rise in pairs from the upper leaf axils.

Some authorities say this species was originally indigenous only to areas in the Mississippi Basin.

Image Gallery:

19 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Size Notes: 18 inches to 3 feet
Flower: Flowers 1 inch long
Fruit: Tan
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: White with purple lines in throat for bees.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NH , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC
Canada: NB , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: ME to MI & SD, s. to VA, AL & e. TX. Some authorities say its original distribution was limited to the Mississippi River basin.
Native Habitat: Low, moist areas; prairies; open woodlands

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium , High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist , Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Fertile, well-drained loams, clay loams, and sand. Acid preferably but tolerates lime.
Conditions Comments: Will tolerate dry shade.


Use Ornamental: A great bloomer for clay loam in areas with poor drainage.
Use Wildlife: Hummingbirds and bumblebees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes

Last Update: 2014-07-17