For those in the United States who like to keep their garden stocked with native plants, Beard’s Tongue, orPenstemon digitalis is a member of the Foxglove family which fits the bill. Native to eastern and southeastern United States as well as Canada, it’s right at home in a faerie garden, as well as a twinkling addition to a moon garden.
Penstemon digitalis grows to a height of 3 to five foot, is a perennial and blooms from April to June. Tiny white two lipped flowers grow on tall stems, with foliage turning reddish in the autumn. It’s pretty hardy in zones 3 to 8, loves the sun and isn’t too fussy about staying moist. Not only will it tolerate drought, poor soils and the occasional feast by deer, it attracts hummingbirds, songbirds and butterflies.
Penstemon is Greek for five stamens, of which only four are fertile. It’s also known as beard tongue, because the sterile stamen is covered in small hairs.