Photo of Penstemon hirsutus

Penstemon hirsutus

Hairy Beardtongue

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Thin, tubular-shaped purple flowers bloom May-July, offering nectar for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

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Thin, tubular-shaped flowers bloom May-July, offering nectar for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Flowers range in color from lavender-purple to pale-blue, with white tips. The lower petal has a protruding lip with  hair-like structures evoking its common name, “Hairy Beardtongue”.  This versatile and adaptable perennial tolerates a range of conditions including clay or sandy soil, medium-wet to dry soil, and full sun to full shade. Plant in your native wildflower garden, pollinator garden, field, meadow, or woodland edge. Companion plant suggestions incude Horsemint (Monarda punctata) and Eastern Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana).

Wildlife Value: A variety of bees and butterflies benefit from the nectar and pollen, and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird visits the flower for the sweet nectar. Host plant for Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryus phaeton).

Plant Details:

Plant Type: Flower, Perennial

New Jersey Native: Yes

Bloom Times: Late Spring to Early Summer

Bloom Colors: Pink, Blue, Purple

Deer Resistance: High

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Bees and Other Pollinators, Butterflies, Hummingbirds

Salt Tolerance: Unknown

Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Physiographic Region: All Regions in NJ

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Loam, Organic, Sandy, Clay

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Soil pH: Acidic, Slightly Acidic, Neutral, Slightly Alkaline

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Partial Shade

Light Range: Full Sun, Partial Shade, Shade

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Drought Tolerance: High

Size and Growth Rate

Height: 1 - 2 ft

Spread: .5 - 1 ft

Growth Rate: Medium-fast