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Henderson, Mary S. and Mary Hall
Penstemon cobaea Nutt.
Wild foxglove, Prairie penstemon, Foxglove penstemon, False foxglove, Large-flowered beardtongue, Large-flowered penstemon, Prairie beardtongue, Cobaea penstemon
Synonym(s): Penstemon cobaea ssp. purpureus, Penstemon cobaea ssp. typicus, Penstemon cobaea var. purpureus
USDA Symbol: PECO4
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Size Notes:
1-2 feet. Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, TX Native Distribution:
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 ConditionsWater 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
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.
Showy, Long-blooming, Blooms ornamental, Perennial
garden Use Wildlife:
This penstemon attracts a variety of moths. Nectar-insects, Cover Conspicuous Flowers:
Butterflies , Hummingbirds Larval Host:
Dotted Checkerspot butterfly Nectar Source:
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Easily raised from seed (blooms second year). Collect seed in summer when capsules are brown and seeds are black.
Seed Collection: Collect seed in summer when capsules are brown and seeds are black.
Seed Treatment: Germination is best with cold-moist stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Find Seed or Plants
Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Wildlife uses of wildflowers in Central Texas
May 01, 2006
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List of native perennial Texas flowers
March 13, 2006
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From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
- Briggs, TXFar South Wholesale Nursery
- Austin, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0754
Collected Apr 16, 1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store
Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
(2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides)
(1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest
(1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region
(2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide
(1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife
(1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas
(2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country
(1989) Enquist, M.
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Record Last Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff