Plant DetailShow Menu

Penstemon smallii

Phonetic Spelling
PEN-stem-on SMAL-ee-eye
Description

Small's Beardtongue is an herbaceous perennial that blooms for up to four weeks, much longer than other eastern penstemons, and may repeat bloom during the season. It occurs naturally in places that are in shade for half the day, but also tolerates full sun. It is a popular flower in mountainous regions of the South, being a small plant in the Penstemon family that does well in dry conditions. It is short-lived (2-3 seasons) but reseeds close around. Purple stems bear rounded purple-veined leaves up to 6 inches long. Pink to purple tubular flowers with purple-striped, white throats appear in early summer.

The native habit of this plant includes wood margins, exposed or shaded cliffs & banks.

 

Seasons of Interest: 

   Blooms:  Summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer

 

More information on Penstemon.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Backyard Grouping Pollinator Garden- Full Sun Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade Foundation Planting- West Side of House
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#perennial#wildlife plant#herb garden#NC native#native garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#pollinators#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#perennial#wildlife plant#herb garden#NC native#native garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#pollinators#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Penstemon
    Species:
    smallii
    Family:
    Plantaginaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a host plant for the Common Buckeye butterfly.  Hummingbirds and butterflies 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.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 4 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    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:
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit displays in July.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Numerous, tube-shaped, dark-pink, white-throated flowers that 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. Flowers bloom from May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The shiny, opposite leaves have attractive, dark veins and clasping, heart-shaped bases. The basal rosette of leaves turns reddish-bronze in the winter.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil