Penstemon canescens (Britton) Britton
Eastern gray beardtongue
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
Synonym(s): Penstemon brittoniorum, Penstemon canescens var. brittoniorum, Penstemon canescens var. typicus
USDA Symbol: PECA8
Delicate, erect stems, usually several from the same rhizome, are 16-24 in. tall. Pale-lavender or white, snapdragon-like flowers occur in pairs along the upper part of the stem. A downy stem topped by a loose cluster of showy, tubular, violet-purple to pinkish flowers with darker violet-purple lines inside corolla. The paired, stem foliage is dark-green.
This is one of numerous beardtongues, which are most common in the western United States. The common name beardtongue refers to the tuft of hairs found on the sterile stamen of many species, including this one. Cobaea Beardtongue (P. cobaea), found on prairies and rocky bluffs from Nebraska east to Ohio, southwest through Missouri to Texas, and north to Kansas, reaches a height of 2 (60 cm) and has downy, clasping leaves and white to deep purple flowers to 2 (5 cm) long.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AL , GA , IL , IN , KY , MD , NC , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: C. PA to s. IN, s., chiefly in the mts., to SC & n.e. AL
Native Habitat: Shady banks spreading to roadsides, fields & woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Division is the easiest method of increase. Separate crowns in fall or early spring. Prune back the foliage of each new division. Propagate also by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Germination is best with cold-moist stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
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 canescens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Penstemon canescens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Penstemon canescens
MetadataRecord Modified: 2010-06-07
Research By: TWC Staff