Gilia beardtongue, Pink plains penstemon, Pink plains beardtongue, Sand penstemon
USDA Symbol: PEAM
USDA Native Status:
Pink plains beardtongue or sand penstemon is a mounded, fine-stemmed, shrub-like perennial, 1-3 ft. tall. In bloom, billows of whitish-pink, tubular flowers with pansy-like faces cover the plant. Masses of pinkish-white flowers bloom atop upright stems. Flowering increases with age as the woody base produces more stems. Leaves are thread-like in width, some persisting year-round.
Pink Plains Penstemon blooms most heavily in May, then continues until Oct., depending on moisture. The plant will tolerate extreme heat and drought conditions.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Flower: Flower 1 inch
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
DistributionUSA: AZ , CO , KS , NM , NV , OK , TX , UT , WY
Native Distribution: KS & CO to s. UT & NV, s. to w. TX, e. NM & Mex.
Native Habitat: Sandy plains, hills & mesas
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam
Conditions Comments: Sand penstemon blooms most heavily in May, then continues until Oct., depending on moisture. The plant will tolerate extreme heat and drought conditions.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, Long-blooming, Blooms ornamental, Perennial garden
Use Wildlife: Cover, Nectar-insects
Warning: This plant contains substances that can cause painful irritation of the mouth and throat if ingested. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Plants may be progagated by root division or seed sown in cool soil Ė spring or early fall.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Germination is best with cold-moist stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Tohono Chul Park, Inc. - Tucson, AZ
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
BibliographyBibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
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Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Penstemon ambiguus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Penstemon ambiguus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Penstemon ambiguus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff