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Flaigg, Norman G.
Penstemon digitalis Nutt. ex Sims
Mississippi penstemon, Smooth white beardtongue, Talus slope penstemon, Foxglove beardtongue
Synonym(s): Penstemon laevigatus ssp. digitalis, Penstemon laevigatus var. angulatus
USDA Symbol: pedi
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (I)
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Root Type: Tap Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen Size Notes:
18 inches to 3 feet Flower:
Flowers 1 inch long
Tan Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: White with purple lines in throat for bees.
, WV Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution: ME
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 ConditionsWater Use: Low , Medium , High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist , Wet
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.
BenefitUse Ornamental: A great bloomer for clay loam in areas with poor drainage.
Use Wildlife: Hummingbirds and bumblebees
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division , Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Description: 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: Seeds ripen in fall.
Seed Treatment: Germination is best with cold-moist stratification and light.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: For a neat appearance, cut bloom stalks once theyve turned brown. Somewhat short-lived, so keep a supply of seed on hand to renew your population.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native flowers for Door County, Wisconsin
September 02, 2009
We recently were required to put in a new septic system on our vacation property in Door County, WI. This left us with a clearing on our wooded lot where the septic field is now located. The installer...
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National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff