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Penstemon smallii (Small's beardtongue) | NPIN
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Penstemon smallii (Small's beardtongue)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Penstemon smallii

Small's beardtongue, Small's penstemon

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

USDA Symbol: PESM

USDA Native Status:

Numerous, tube-shaped, dark-pink, white-throated flowers are borne on upright, branched stalks up to 2 1/2 ft. high. Differing from other eastern penstemons, the flowering branches extend down into the axils of the leafy stems, giving the plant a bushy appearance. The shiny, opposite leaves have attractive, dark veins and clasping, heart-shaped bases. The basal rosette of leaves turns reddish-bronze in the winter.

Smalls Beardtongue blooms for up to four weeks, much longer than other eastern penstemons. It occurs naturally in places that are in shade for half the day, but also tolerates full sun. A popular flower in mountainous regions of the South.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Size Notes: 18 to 30 inches
Flower: Flowers 1.5 inches long
Fruit: Tan
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: lavender colored

Distribution

USA: AL , GA , NC , SC , TN
Native Distribution: Mountains of NC &TN to AL
Native Habitat: Wood margins; exposed or shaded cliffs & banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Light, well-drained soil or sandy and rocky OK. Acidic preferred.
Conditions Comments: Likes moist soil but doesnt like excessive wetness.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Grows in sun and part shade
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Propagation

Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Description: Sow seeds immediately outdoors. Most will wait to germinate until spring. Stem cuttings may be taken in early summer, after flowering, and stuck in sand:perlite. Division is the easiest method of increase. Separate crowns in fall or early spring.
Seed Collection: Seeds are ready for collection about 6-8 weeks after flowering. Fruiting stems should be collected when the capsules are darkened and contain dark seeds. Allow seeds to air-dry several days. Store in sealed, refrigerated container.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Short-lived, so resow seed every 2 or 3 years for a continuous population.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Tohono Chul Park, Inc. - Tucson, AZ
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Bibliography

Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

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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 resources

USDA: Find Penstemon smallii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Penstemon smallii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Penstemon smallii

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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