• Penstemon gracilis 

    Slender penstemon

Penstemon gracilis 

Slender penstemon Description:

Penstemon gracilis, commonly known as slender beardtongue, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the family Plantaginaceae. It is native to North America and can be found in prairies, open woods, and along roadsides from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains. The plant typically grows up to 1 to 2 feet tall and blooms in late spring to early summer with showy lavender to pinkish-purple tubular flowers. The leaves are narrow, lance-shaped, and arranged in a basal rosette. Penstemon gracilis is an important plant for pollinators, providing nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies, and other insects. It is also used in wildflower gardens and prairie restoration projects to help establish native plant communities.

Native Range:

Slender penstemon's native range is mostly in the central and northern states, from Montana to Michigan, however, its range does have a southern stretch from Montana to New Mexico.

Standard Plant Information:

Plant Height: 1' - 2' 

Bloom Time: May - July

Preferred Habitat: Does well in part shade to full sun. Often found in prairies, open and rocky woods.


For most homeowners, the best option is to scatter seed on the ground by hand broadcasting at a minimum of 16-64 pls ounces per acre.  For even coverage, we recommend that you broadcast seed in perpendicular rows across the site to ensure even coverage.

You’ll want to broadcast any grass seed first, which will get raked into the soil lightly. Next, it is ideal to mulch the area lightly with either a clean (no seed) straw or preferably with our native Little Bluestem straw, sold at our retail garden centers. After a light mulching is complete, now it’s time to broadcast your native wildflower seeds, which should not be raked into the soil. A good rain or watering is sufficient to cover the seed.


Simply dig a hole in the soil slightly larger than the plant’s roots. Ensure that the soil line of the plant is maintained during the transfer (i.e. the plant should be at the same level with the ground as it was in the pot). Pack any loose dirt back around the plant and make sure you water it well the same day to ensure it has the best chance of survival.

maps used with permission from MN Wildflowers

Penstemon gracilis Gallery

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