Penstemon gracilis - SLENDER BEARDTONGUE

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Delicate wildflower for smaller garden, edges, and rock gardens...

This perennial wildflower provides excellent pollinator support with its pale purple/lavender blooms that appear in late spring and remain through the first part of summer. The "Slender" part of the common name is based on the foliage, as the leaves are toothed and narrower than the more common P. digitalis. The stems are lined with small, fine hairs. Slender Beardtongue grows naturally in upland prairies and barrens, and can be used for restoration along the upland areas of shorelines. Its tendency to grow in sandy and gravelly soil means it can be used for xeriscapes and rock gardens.

This plant is considered endangered in the state of Michigan due to its very limited original habitat. It's commonly "associated with [other] dry savanna species like big and little bluestem, Pennsylvania sedge, blazing star, prairie willow, Black-Eyed Susan," etc. (Michigan State UniversityAlso known as Lilac Penstemon and is reminiscent of slender hairy beardtongue (P. hirsutus).

Blooming Time: May - July
Size: up to 2' tall, recommended spacing is 12-18" (individual plants have narrow, upright growth)
USDA zones: 3 to 6/7
Culture: full sun to part shade, prefers gravelly or sandy soils and tolerates drought
Moisture Needs: dry to average
this plant is native to the North-Central United States (Great Plains) and southern half of Canada, with its range extending as far south as the Midwest, plus CO and NM (USDA distribution map)
Deer/Rabbit Resistant: yes / yes
Attracts Butterflies or Pollinators: yes / yes, host plant for Chalcedon and Edith's Checkerspot butterflies
Attracts Hummingbirds: yes
Pot Size: square 3.5" x 5" deep pot
Plant Combinations: Asclepias tuberosa, Asclepias verticillata, Allium cernuum (other native Allium), Callirhoe, Dalea, Baptisia australis var. minor, Coreopsis, Gaillardia, Penstemon hirsutus (and others), Phlox subulata, Phlox nivalis, Monarda bradburiana, Solidago rigida 'Golden Rocket', Solidago nemoralis,...and shorter cultivars of Agastache, Echinacea, Monarda, or introduced perennials like Calamintha nepeta, Nepeta, Pulsatilla, Salvia nemorosa hybrids, Scabiosa columbaria, lower grasses like Bouteloua, Eragrostis spectabilis, Sporobolus, as well as shorter forms of Schizachyrium scoparium.
Picture Copyright: US Perennials, LLC