Saturday, May 29, 2010

Penstemon hirsutus in bloom!

[Photo: Penstemon hirsutus.]The hairy penstemon (aka "hairy beardtongue", "eastern penstemon", penstémon hirsute) that I purchased a few weeks ago at the North American Native Plant Society plant sale a few weeks ago is already blooming, despite the stress of moving to a new home and this crazy heat wave we've been having. I knew very little about this plant when I got it, except that it was a purple penstemon. I'm quite happy with it.

[Photo: close-up of Penstemon hirsutus blooms.]In this close-up, you can see that the dainty flowers are actually bicoloured, mauve and white. Walter Muma's Ontario Wildflowers site has much better close-ups; in the fourth photo down you can see why one of the common names is "beardtongue".

Hairy penstemon is a larval host plant for the beautiful Baltimore checkerspot butterfly. According to Michigan State University, hairy penstemon attracts beneficial insects, including parasitic wasps and pirate bugs, which prey on nuisance insects. This lovely plant also provides nectar for hummingbirds, according to the Ontario Hummingbird Project.


  1. Lovely flowers on it. I love any plant that bring butterflys!

  2. Very nice...I am looking for more plants for my backyard...this would work great.


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