Botanical Name: Penstemon multiflorus, Penstemon digitalis var. multiflorus
Common Name: White Beardtongue Penstemon, Manyflowered Beard Tongue
Description: White Beardtongue Penstemon is a Florida native, perennial, wildflower. It blooms in spring through fall and occurs naturally in flatwoods, sandhills, scrubby flatwoods, and ruderal areas. This plant is almost endemic to Florida, with only a few populations in Alabama and Georgia. It attracts a number of pollinators, including hummingbirds, and is of special value to native bees. It is the host plant for the Baltimore checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton). It works well in wild or naturalistic settings as well more formal gardens. Masses of these tall, white bloom stalks are a showstopper. The plant spreads on it own by reseeding and by producing “pups” from the main rosette. Likes well-drained soils in sun to part sun situations. Grows 1-3′ tall x 2-3′ wide. The flowers add another 1-2′ of height. Drought tolerant for short periods of time. They also perform well in other habitats that have evolved to be fire-based ecosystems.
Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray.
Plant Lore: The species epithet multiflorus is from the Latin multus, or “many,” and florus, or “flower,” and refers to the many flowers born on each flower stalk. The common name “beardtongue” refers to the tendency of blooms within the Penstemon genus to have a long, often hairy filament that protrudes from the mouth of the corolla, giving the appearance of a fuzzy tongue.
This plant in 1-gallon containers is 8-15″ tall.
Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 10