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Penstemon hirsutus (Hairy penstemon)
Smith, R.W.

Penstemon hirsutus

Penstemon hirsutus (L.) Willd.

Hairy Penstemon, Hairy Beardtongue

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Synonym(s): Penstemon hirsutus var. minimus, Penstemon hirsutus var. pygmaeus


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Erect, hairy stems, usually several from the same rhizome, are 16-32 in. tall. Leaves are oblong. A woolly-stemmed plant with open, stalked clusters of lavender to violet, trumpet-shaped flowers with whitish lips. The tubular, lipped flowers are very slender and about an inch long. The mouth is nearly closed by the arched base of the lower lip.

The Beardtongues are a very large group, and taxonomically so complex that separating the species is often difficult. This species is readily distinguished, however, by the downy nature of the stem. The common and scientific names refer to the tufted sterile stamen.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 32 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: ME to WI, s. to VA & KY
Native Habitat: Dry woods; rocky fields; bluffs

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Thin, well-drained soils.


Use Wildlife: Hummingbirds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees

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

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

(Euphydryas phaeton)

Adult Food Source
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Propagate by seed.
Seed Treatment: Germination is best with cold-moist stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native wildflowers for Northern Indiana
May 08, 2007
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Saturday April 21. What a beautiful place. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I was wondering how I could find out w...
view the full question and answer

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE


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 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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