Manyflower beardtongue (Penstemon multiflorus)
Click on terms for botanical definitions.
Manyflower beardtongue (also known as white beardtongue) is a deciduous perennial wildflower. It blooms late spring through early summer and occurs naturally in flatwoods, sandhills and ruderal areas. It attracts a number of pollinators and is the host plant for the Baltimore checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton).
Manyflower beardtongue’s showy white flowers are 5-lobed, 2-lipped and tube-shaped. They are borne on erect stems that are reddish in color and rise from a basal rosette of large, grayish-green leaves. Stem leaves are sessile and oppositely arranged.
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.
Family: Plantaginaceae (Plaintain family)
Native range: Nearly throughout Florida
To see where natural populations of manyflower beardtongue have been vouchered, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.
Soil: Well-drained soils
Exposure: Full sun to minimal shade
Growth habit: 3–4’ tall
Garden tips: Manyflower beardtongue works well in wild or naturalistic settings as well more formal gardens. It can be propagated from cuttings and seeds, and also spreads on it own by reseeding and by producing “pups” from the main rosette.
Manyflower beardtongue seeds are available from the Florida Wildflower Cooperative. Plants are often available at nurseries that specialize in native plants. Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery on your area.