Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

This is probably the easiest Penstemon sp. to grow in areas that lie east of the Mississippi river. The flowers are quite showy, and the plant is large enough to compete against many kinds of weeds. Another desirable feature is that the blooming period is rather long for an early season plant. Foxglove Penstemon can be distinguished from other members of the genus by the absence of hairs on the leaves and stems, a corolla that is primarily white on the outer surface (but sometimes with violet tints), the presence of tiny white hairs on the anthers (resembling small combs), and an absence of ridges on the lower inner surface of the corolla. The small hairs on the anthers can lodge against the hairs of a visiting bee, causing the stamens to bend downward to deposit pollen on the back of the insect, if it is sufficiently large in size. Return
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Description

Prior to developing an inflorescence, this native perennial plant consists of one or more rosettes of basal leaves that are clustered together. They are medium green, sometimes with reddish tints. They are variable in shape, but tend to be ovate, obovate, or broadly lanceolate, and are up to 6" long and 2½" wide. Their margins are usually smooth. One or more flowering stalks emerge from the clustered rosettes during the spring, which are about 3' tall. They are hairless and light green, while the opposite leaves on these stalks are more lanceolate in shape than the basal leaves. Their edges often have tiny teeth, and the leaf surface is often shiny.  The white flowers occur in a panicle at the top of each flowering stem, and bloom during late spring or early summer for about a month. They are tubular in shape and about 1" long, with the corolla divided into a lower lip with 3 lobes and and an upper lip with 2 lobes. Somtimes there are fine lines of violet within the corolla, which function as nectar guides to visiting insects. There is no floral scent. The entire plant is hairless, except on the outer surface of the flowers. The flowering stalk eventually turns dark brown, developing numerous oval seed capsules, each containing numerous seeds. These seeds are gray, finely pitted, and irregularly angled. This inflorescence eventually falls over are the seeds have formed, helping to distribute them, but the basal leaves remain. The small seeds can also be carried aloft by the wind for short distances. The root system has short rhizomes, which often produce new plantlets around the base.
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Type Information

Isotype for Penstemon alluviorum Pennell in Small
Catalog Number: US 1601707
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of alleged type specimen
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): F. W. Pennell
Year Collected: 1923
Locality: Jonesboro., Craighead, Arkansas, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Pennell, F. W. 1933. Man. Southeast. Fl. 1203.
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Ecology

Associations

Faunal Associations

The tubular flowers of this plant attract long-tongued bees, including honeybees, bumblebees, Anthophorine bees, Miner bees, Mason bees, and large Leaf-Cutting bees. To a lesser extent, Halictid bees, butterflies, Sphinx moths, and hummingbirds may visit the flowers, but they are not effective pollinators. The caterpillars of the moth Elaphria chalcedonia (Chalcedony Midget) feed on the foliage of this and other beardtongues. There have been reports that the caterpillars of the butterfly Euphydryes phaeton (Baltimore) feed on the foliage of various beardtongues, but this does not appear to be the case in Illinois. The seeds are not often eaten by birds, nor is the foliage an attractive source of food to mammalian herbivores, although they may browse on it when little else is available. Photographic Location
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Flower-Visiting Insects and Birds of Foxglove Penstemon in Illinois

Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Penstemon)
(Long-tongued bees suck nectar or pollen; short-tongued bees collect pollen; beetles & Syrphid flies feed on either pollen or stray pollen [fsp]; butterflies & moths suck nectar & are probably non-pollinating; some wasps and the Large Carpenter bee perforate the flowers [prf], suck nectar from perforated flowers [sn@prf], and are non-pollinating; the oligolectic Penstemon wasp sucks nectar and collects pollen; hummingbirds suck nectar; observations are from Robertson, Clinebell & Bernhardt, Crosswhite & Crosswhite, Hilty, and MacRae)

Birds
Trochilidae: Archilochus colubris sn (Rb, H)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus auricomus sn, Bombus bimaculatus sn fq (CB), Bombus fraternus sn fq (CB), Bombus griseocallis sn fq (CB), Bombus impatiens sn fq (Rb, CB), Bombus nevadensis sn fq (CB), Bombus pensylvanica sn (Rb, CB), Bombus vagans sn; Anthophoridae (Anthophorini): Anthophora abrupta sn cp fq, Anthophora terminalis sn cp fq (Rb, CB), Anthophora ursina sn cp fq; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina spp. cp fq (CB), Ceratina dupla dupla cp; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Synhalonia hamata sn fq (CB), Synhalonia rosae sn fq, Synhalonia speciosa sn fq; Anthophoridae (Xylocopini): Xylocopa virginica prf sn@prf np fq (H); Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn, Megachile montivaga sn; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Hoplitis pilosifrons sn cp fq (Rb, CB), Osmia spp. cp fq (CB), Osmia albiventris (CC), Osmia distincta sn cp fq olg (Rb, CC), Osmia proxima (CC), Osmia pumila sn (Rb, CC), Osmia simillima (CC)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon virescens cp, Augochlorella striata cp fq (CB), Lasioglossum spp. cp fq (CB), Lasioglossum coriaceus cp, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus cp, Lasioglossum pruinosus cp, Lasioglossum versatus cp; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus spp. cp (CB)

Wasps
Vespidae (Eumeninae): Euodynerus foraminatus prf sn@prf np, Stenodynerus anormis sn@prf np; Vespidae (Masarinae): Pseudomasaris occidentalis sn cp olg (CB)

Flies
Syrphidae: Toxomerus marginatus fsp np

Butterflies
Pieridae: Colias philodice sn np; Papilionidae: Papilio troilus sn np (Rb, CB)

Moths
Sphingidae: Hyles lineata sn np

Beetles
Buprestidae: Acmaeodera tubulus (McR); Scarabaeidae (Cetonniae): Trichiotinus piger fp np

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Penstemon digitalis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full or partial sun, average levels of moisture, and loamy soil. This plant matures quickly during the spring, and the flowering stalks often ascend above neighboring plants. It adapts well to cultivation, is not bothered by disease, and is easy to grow. Under severe drought conditions, however, the leaves may turn yellow and the plant will wilt. Range & Habitat
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Wikipedia

Penstemon alluviorum

Penstemon alluviorum, known by the common name lowland beardtongue, is a species of flowering plant in the veronica family. It is native to the Eastern United States where it is found in alluvial lowlands, particularly of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

Penstemon alluvoirum is a poorly understood taxon. The differences between this and two related species, Penstemon digitalis and Penstemon laevigatus, are not well resolved. It is identified within the complex by having corollas that are 15-23 mm long, sepals that are 3-6 mm long, and leaves that are 25-40 mm wide. It produces white (rarely lavender) flowers in May. [1]

References[edit]

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Penstemon digitalis

Penstemon digitalis (foxglove beard-tongue[1][2] or talus slope penstemon) is a plant in the plantain family, Plantaginaceae. The flowers are white and are borne in summer. It is native to eastern Canada[1] and eastern and southeastern United States.

Description[edit]

Penstemon digitalis is a herbaceous plant with opposite, simple leaves, on slender, purple stems. It is sometimes called beardtongue, as the stamen has small tufts of "hair".[1] It produces tubular white flowers on 2 to 3 foot stems over attractive dark green foliage. The flowers are produced in June, adding color to the prairie garden. The plant grows in any moist soil in full sun.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dickinson, T.; Metsger, D.; Bull, J.; & Dickinson, R. (2004) ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto:Royal Ontario Museum, p. 332.
  2. ^ Penstemon digitalis Nutt. ex Sims foxglove beardtongue, USDA


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