Tubeflower Beardtongue
Trumpet Penstemon - Tube Beardtongue - White Wand Beardtongue
Penstemon australis Small
Plantaginaceae (Penstemon) Family


The Tube Beardtongue is one of several beardtongues that is common in the coastal region, having found ideal habitat on the coastal prairies of Alabama and Florida. Its preferred habitat is dry woods, thickets and prairies. Distribution is occasional in the Escambia region.

The middle leaves are 3 to 4 inches long, ovate to lance-like in form. The upper leaves clasp the stem. The basal leaves are stalked, broadly ovate and nearly in a rosette.

The flowers are about 1-1/2 inch long, the 3-parted lower lobe projecting straight out, often appearing crumpled, but symmetrical in form. The flowers are bisexual in nature. The 2-parted upper lobe is erect. There are 5 stamens, one is sterile. The color is snowy to creamy white (occasionally pink). Flowers occur in the spring.

Fruit is a capsule

The related Cobaea Beardtongue, P. cobaea, is also found on coastal prairies and rocky bluffs. It grows to about 2 feet tall and has downy clasping leaves. The flowers are whitish to purple-gray, and up to 2 inches long. P. canadensis is similar and is often mistaken for P. cobaea.

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