Penstemon grandiflorus (Large Beardtongue)
|Also known as:||Large-flowered Beardtongue, Large-flowered Penstemon|
|Habitat:||sun; dry prairies, sandy soil|
|Bloom season:||May - July|
|Plant height:||12 to 40 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are up to 2 inches long, tubular and slightly flattened. The upper lip of the tube is divided into 2 round lobes and is slightly shorter than the lower lip. The wide lower lip has 3 equally sized round lobes. Color is lavender to pink, with purple lines on the inside of the lower lip and a yellow-tipped white style that protrudes some from the center of the tube. Up to 6 flowers are whorled around the stem at the leaf axils in the upper part of the plant, each flower on a short stalk.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves look waxy, are bluish-green and generally oval or egg-shaped with a blunt point or rounded tip, about 3 inches long, up to 2 inches wide and tend to point up. Attachment is opposite; the lower leaves are stalkless and become more clasping and smaller as they ascend the stem. Leaf edges can curl up some. The main stem is smooth, thick and round, light green or reddish in color.
All Penstemon species were formerly in the Scrophulariaceae (Figwort) family, but are now in Plantaginaceae (Plantain).
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County, and in Lac Qui Parle County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in a private garden in Anoka County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?