Index- plants in this Family
Scrophulariaceae / Figwort
Eastern Smooth Beardtongue (Penstemon laevigatus)
Eastern Smooth Beardtongue is also known as Eastern Beardtongue.

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach 100cm in height (39inches).
Leaves: The leaf arrangement is opposite. Leaves can reach 13cm in length (5inches). The lower leaves are long petioled while the upper ones are clasping. They may be slightly hairy on the underside and are slightly toothed.
Flowers: The flowers are irregular in shape and are up to 3cm long (1.2 inches). They are pale purple to almost white. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into mid summer. The corolla in this species flares abruptly, is generally not lined, the stamens have a yellowish beard, the anthers are smooth and brown.
Habitat: Open woods and fields.
Range: Most of the southeastern U. S. east of the Mississippi and north to Pennsylvania.

      Color Photo     More Info      Classification

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The Beardtongue name refers to the presence of a fifth stamen that in many species has a hairy tip or beard. The name Penstemon is Greek for five stamens.

Similar Species: There are about twenty other species of Beardtongue in the Southeastern U. S. (See the 'More Info' links below for a partial list). Many species are very hard to distinguish. Identification often depends on minor details.

See the links below this image for other images. (1)
© Daniel Reed   E-mail      Image use policy

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Beardtongue, Eastern Smooth (Penstemon laevigatus) with purple flowers  © Daniel Reed

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves



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