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Penstemon laevigatus

Phonetic Spelling
PEN-stem-on lee-vih-GAY-tus
Description

Eastern smooth beardtongue is a North Carolina native in the Scrophulariaceae family. Smooth Beardtongue is a herbaceous perennial that may grow 2 to 3 feet tall. The leaves are opposite with a slightly toothed margin and hairy underside. The lower leaves are long-stemmed while the upper ones have short stems. It is found in woodlands and fields, preferring rich moist soils and full sun.   Its leaves are opposite, stalkless, lance-shaped (2"-4" long). Its purplish-white blooms appear in open clusters on the upper parts of the stems from May through July.  They are tubular and asymmetrical with a hairy lower lip, hence the common name beardtongue. It is easy to grow, medium water use, low maintenance plant.  It makes an excellent choice for a rock, butterfly, or cottage garden. 

Fire Risk: This plant has a medium flammability rating. 

Seasons of Interest:

      Bloom: Spring-Summer, May-July     Fruit/Seed/Nut:  Late summer

 

More information on Penstemon.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#showy flowers#perennial#wildlife plant#nectar plant#cottage garden#herb garden#highly beneficial coastal plants#fire#medium flammability#NC native#native garden#rock gardens#native wildflower#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#butterfly larvae#Piedmont Mountains FACU#pollinators#pollinator garden#audubon#common buckeye butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#showy flowers#perennial#wildlife plant#nectar plant#cottage garden#herb garden#highly beneficial coastal plants#fire#medium flammability#NC native#native garden#rock gardens#native wildflower#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#butterfly larvae#Piedmont Mountains FACU#pollinators#pollinator garden#audubon#common buckeye butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Penstemon
    Species:
    laevigatus
    Family:
    Plantaginaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern United States
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant provides nectar for pollinators. Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) larvae which has two to three broods from May-October. Caterpillars eat the host plant's leaves while adults feed on the nectar of composite flowers including aster, chicory, gumweed, knapweed, and tickseed sunflower. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are attracted to its blooms.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    Flowers bloom from July to August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Description:
    The Smooth Beardtongue has pale purple to almost white flowers. Flowers bloom from May to July.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves of the Smooth Beardtongue are opposite with a slightly toothed margin and a hairy underside. The lower leaves are long-stemmed while the upper ones have short stems.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer