Calico Beardtongue, Penstemon calycosus

Calico Beardtongue

Penstemon calycosus

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Bloom Time: Summer
Hardiness Zones: 5, 6, 7, 8
Soil Conditions: Loam
Soil Moisture: Medium, Moist
Color: Pink
Fragrance: No
Height: 1-2 feet
Spacing: 4 feet

Calico Beardtongue, Penstemon calycosus, is a graceful perennial wildflower that expands to form upright clumps. This beardtongue bears deep green toothed leaves on strong upright stems. In summer, plants are topped by showy panicles of tubular snapdragon-like lavender flowers. Pollinators flock to the blooms in sunny or partly shaded sites with well drained loamy soil.

Leaves are bright green and arranged opposite from each other along the stems. Blades are lanceolate and glossy with serrate edges and pointed tips. The leaves are up to 5 inches long and 2 inches across. Leaves are largest toward the base of the plant – gradually becoming smaller as the stem rises. The stems terminate in showy branched flower panicles. The florets are tubular, lobed and about 1 inch long. The outer surface of the corolla tube is pinkish, lavender or purple and the inner surface is white. Each floret has unique long narrow sepals. Blooming occurs in late spring or early summer for about a month. Florets are followed by small capsules containing many tiny seed.

This species is indigenous to Blackland prairies, oak savannas, open rocky woods, woodland edges and clearings, wet mesic woods, stream banks, moist meadows, alkaline rocky slopes, limestone outcrops, pastures and roadsides. Plants occur in high quality and moderately disturbed habitats.

 Further Information

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 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
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 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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