Penstemon, Hairy beardtongue

Penstemon hirsutus (L.) Wild

Family: Scrophulariaceae (figwort)

  • Bloom Period:
    • Early,
  • Growth Cycle:
    • Perennial,
  • Growth Habit:
    • Forbs/Herbs,
  • Insect Type Attracted:
    • Natural Enemy,
    • Pollinator,
  • Light:
    • Full,
    • Partial,
  • Region:
    • Northern Lower Peninsula,
    • Southern Lower Peninsula
  • Soil Moisture:
    • Dry,
    • Medium,
  • Height:
    • 1-2ft

Natural enemies attracted

Moderately attractive: Chalcidoidea and Orius insidiosus.

Mildly attractive: Braconidae, Aeolothripidae, Cynipoidea and Empididae.

Pollinators attracted

Moderately attractive: bees including large carpenter bees, small carpenter bees, and bumble bees.

Pests attracted

Highly attractive: lygus bugs.

Moderately attractive: thrips.

Mildly attractive: root-maggot flies, froghoppers, aphids and leafhoppers.

Plant notes

Bell-shaped pink to lavender flowers bloom in clusters on upright stalks. Flowers look like elongated snapdragons, but are closed. This plant remains green throughout the summer and bloomed from late May to mid-June. This was the fifth most attractive early season plant to natural enemies, with slightly more natural enemies than the grass control.


This plant tolerates full to partial shade and average to dry moisture conditions. It naturally occurs on open, sandy, usually dry ground, in fields, roadsides, prairies, streams and riverbanks, and rocky ground.

Cultivation and management

Sown seed flowers in second or third year. It can also be grown from plug material (flowers in first or second year).