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Audubon® Foxglove Beard Tongue
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Happy hummers! Ruby-throated Hummingbirds will entertain you in late spring and early summer when you include Foxglove Beardtongue in your backyard bird sanctuary. This spritely native Spirit hoists its tubular white flowers on slender stems then, and the nectar-seeking birds come from far and wide. Plant it near your outdoor sitting area, where you can watch the air show. It’s fun to watch the bumblebees methodically working the flowers, too. They disappear inside each one and pop back out, pollinating the blooms as they go. Butterflies, such as tiger swallowtails and skippers, may also stop by for a sip of nectar.
May Benefit & Attract: Hummingbirds
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-8
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Recommended by Our Growers
Beardtongue gets its name from the hairy stamens (male flower parts) inside the blossoms. It is also known as Penstemon. This sturdy species of Beardtongue, the Foxglove Beardtongue, grows in sunny, open areas all over the East, Midwest, and Southern Plains. It nourishes not only Hummingbirds, bumblebees, and butterflies, but a wide array of valuable pollinators. Honey bees relish the blooms, as do digger bees, miner bees, mason bees, sweat bees, and leaf-cutter bees. Sphinx moths may visit the flowers, and a little moth called the chalcedony midget lays its eggs on its foliage. Its caterpillars feed only on Penstemons and a couple of related plants.
Easygoing and dependable! Penstemons, often native to mountainous areas and regions with low humidity, can be difficult to grow in the eastern United States. Foxglove Penstemon, on the other hand, is quite accommodating. It is easy to please in most climates and will come back year after year.
How to Grow
Give Foxglove Beardtongue a site in full sun. It must have soil that drains freely. Although it will need regular irrigation while it gets established, afterwards this self-reliant Spirit will be remarkably drought tolerant. The rusty brown winter stems and seedheads have subtle charms during the dormant season, and you may choose to leave them standing. Doing so may result in seedlings appearing here and there. You can also make more Foxglove Beardtongue plants by dividing clumps in the spring. Trim back the stems and any unsightly foliage before new growth appears in spring.
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