Beard-Tongue or Bearded-Tongue

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Beard-Tongue or Bearded-Tongue
Common Name: Beard-Tongue or Bearded-Tongue
Botanical Name: Penstemon barbatus and P. spp. (pen-STE-mon or PEN-ste-mon bar-BA-tus)
Decorative Life: 3-8 days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • This is a good flower to use the "apple test" on as described elsewhere in this Internet site to test the effectiveness of anti-ethylene products.
Family Roots:
  • As a member of the Scrophulariaceae (figwort family), it has as common relatives Calceolaria, Veronica, Verbascum, Chelone, foxglove, snapdragon, and Angelonia.
  • Native to Southwestern US including Utah to New Mexico, Arizona and Northern Mexico.
  • Stems to 3 plus feet, smooth at top and somewhat hairy at base.
  • Leaves are opposite with the lower leaves having petioles and the top ones without or sessiled.
  • Flowers showy on spikes, have 2 upper and 3 lower lobes with the fifth sterile stamen hairy (bearded) at base, giving rise to its common names, Bearded- or Beard-Tongue.
Flower Color: Pink to white, red.
Storage Specifics: Believed to be in the mid to low 30s F but more research is needed.
  • From the Greek "pente" meaning five and "stemon" for stamen, referring to the prominent fifth stamen that is sterile.
  • Presently better known as a garden herbaceous perennial than as a cut flower.