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Gulf Coast Penstemon

Penstemon tenuis

Other common name(s):

Brazos Penstemon, Brazos Beardtongue, Gulf Penstemon, Gulf Beardtongue, Gulf Coast Beardtongue, Sharp-sepal Penstemon, Sharp-sepal Beardtongue

Family:

Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes
Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

1
to
1.5
ft.

Spread

0.5
to
1
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Acid, Poor Drainage

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Medium

Native Habitat

Grassland, Wetland or Riparian

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Purple

Bloom Season

Spring

Seasonal Interest

Nectar

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Nectar Insects, Hummingbirds, Bees

Maintenance

Restricted mostly to Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes. Low maintenance. Leave seed on stalks to reseed and feed wildlife. If watered, may form thick green mat for groundcover in summer. Good tough filler plant. Makes a beautiful cut flower. Relatively rare in the wild but available in nurseries and NPSOT plant sales. Propagation: Seed.

Comments

Blooms March-June. Branched, erect stems, with oblong to lance-shaped leaves. One inch purple bell flowers on short spikes. May rebloom in fall. Attracts hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and other nectar insects.

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 3) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 201. 4) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PETE3. 5) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=17371&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=33781#null, 7) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014., 8) https://rootedin.com/tough-texas-native-plants-for-shade-creating-a-cool-haven-before-the-heat/, 9) https://warcapps.usgs.gov/PlantID/Species/Details/2141, 10) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penstemon_tenuis
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