Penstemon laxiflorus

muskogee beardtongue, nodding penstemon, nodding beardtongue, loose-flowered penstemon, loose-flowered beardtongue


Leaf Arrangement

alternate, basal (rosulate)

Leaf Attachment

petiolate, sessile, clasping, subsessile

Leaf Margin

dentate, serrate, subentire

Leaf Type

cauline, simple

Leaf Shape

obovate, spatulate

Growth Form


Flower Color

blue, pink, purple, white

Flower Month

March - July

Height (meters)

0.2 - 0.7

Milky Sap








Growing Season

Cool season

Wetland Class


Prairie Coefficient of Conservatism


Field Characters

Mid stem leaves 32 - 105 mm long and 4 -17 mm wide, narrowly lanceolate. Entered term in leaf margin. Basal leaves 25 - 90 mm long, 8 - 25 mm wide, subsessile to petiolate; cauline leaves lanceolate to oblanceolate, 20 - 110 mm long, 2 - 22 mm wide, sessile, and frequently clasping.

Cultural Information

Beardtongue prefers full to a half day of full sun and a light and well drained, sandy, or gravelly soil. It rots easily in wet places or places with excessive organic matter. Beardtongue blooms for 2-4 weeks. Related species are Penstemon smallii, P. canescens, and P. laxiflorus. To harvest seeds cut the stalk and place into a paper bag upside down. Store the bag in a cool, dry place until the seeds dry and fall from the pods. Shake the bag to remove all the seeds then screen to clean. If the pods are not ripe enough it may be necessary to crush the capsules screen them. Seed should be sown fresh or moist stratified after storage at 33-40 F for 30 days (Philips 1985, Shirley 1994). Penstemons reseed readily in loose soil and the plantlets thus produced may be transplant. There are 3,200,000 seeds/lb and the recommended seeding rate is 1 lb/acre (USDA 1948). Clumps may be divided in fall or early spring.


Sandy or sandy loam, acid soil at the edge of woodlands.