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Native Plants Series: Beardtongue

Today we're focusing on Beardtongue (Penstemon) -- another follower request!

There are three Penstemon species that are native to South Central PA. Together they are host plants for 10 species of butterflies and moths locally. The three of them have different but overlapping native ranges, and are slightly different as listed below:

Eastern gray beardtongue (Penstemon canescens): Up to 3' tall, blooms May-June in pale to dark violet, dry to medium, well-drained soil, full sun

Hairy beardtongue (P. hirsutus): Up to 18" tall, blooms May-June in purple, medium-wet to dry soil, light shade to full sun

Longsepal beardtongue (P. calycosus): Up to 4' tall, blooms June-July in pink, rich, moist soil, light shade to full sun

So it seems that you can find a locally-native Penstemon for a wide range of garden conditions!

📸: @us_perennials

Sources: Missouri Botanical Garden, National Wildlife Foundation, USDA Native Plants Database, Prairie Moon Nurseries

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