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This is probably the easiest Penstemon sp. to grow in areas that lie east of the Mississippi river. The flowers are quite showy, and the plant is large enough to compete against many kinds of weeds. Another desirable feature is that the blooming period is rather long for an early season plant. Foxglove Penstemon can be distinguished from other members of the genus by the absence of hairs on the leaves and stems, a corolla that is primarily white on the outer surface (but sometimes with violet tints), the presence of tiny white hairs on the anthers (resembling small combs), and an absence of ridges on the lower inner surface of the corolla. The small hairs on the anthers can lodge against the hairs of a visiting bee, causing the stamens to bend downward to deposit pollen on the back of the insect, if it is sufficiently large in size. Return


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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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