When does this bloom?
Where does this bloom?
44.4, 89-91, 154.5 Picnic Area, 254.4, 339-340, 370-372
Beard-tongue has opposite leaves, partly tube-shaped and two-lipped flowers and seed capsules. The most distinctive feature of the genus is the prominent staminode, an infertile stamen. The staminode takes a variety of forms in the different species; while typically a long straight filament extending to the mouth of the corolla, some are longer and extremely hairy, giving the general appearance of an open mouth with a fuzzy tongue protruding and inspiring the common name beardtongue.
Most penstemons are herbaceous perennials, the remainder being shrubs or subshrubs. Heights can range from 10 cm to as much as 3 meters.
In North America, penstemon species are often used in Xeriscape landscaping, as many are native to desert or alpine regions and thus quite hardy. One of the largest collections of penstemon species in North America is found at The Arboretum at Flagstaff, which hosts a Penstemon Festival each summer.