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Hairy Beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus)
Hairy Beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus), a State Special Concern plant, is found on dry gravelly and sandy prairies, or in hillside oak woodlands. It is also naturalized on roadsides. Blooming occurs late May through late June; fruiting occurs late July through late August. The optimal identification period for this species is late May through late June.
Synonyms: Penstemon hirsutus var. minimus, P. hirsutus var. pygmaeus
- Distinguishing characteristics: Widespread. Corolla violet.
- Flower characteristics: Calyx 4 to 7 mm at anthesis, at maturity more than 1/2 as long as the fruit; corolla 2 to 3 cm, the tube very slender, pale violet outside, pale and hairy inside, but lacking purple lines, lobes white, mouth may or may not be closed by the arched base of the lower lip.
- Fruit characteristics: Fruit divides through the septa and between the locules.
- Leaf characteristics: Cauline leaves opposite, lanceolate to oblong, 5 to 12 cm long, toothed or almost entire, rounded or truncate at the base.
- Blooming phenology: late May through late June
- Fruiting phenology: late July through late August
- Optimum time to identify: late May through late June
- Growth form: Forb-erect
- Vegetative reproduction:
- Life cycle: Perennial
- Comments: Associated Species: Not recorded for Wisconsin specimens.
Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin
The table below provides information about the protected status - state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Hairy Beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.
|Federal Status in Wisconsin||none|
|Tracked by NHI||Y|
Habitats and landscapes
The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.
General habitat information
- Habitat description: Found on dry gravelly and sandy prairies, or in hillside oak woodlands. It is also naturalized on roadsides.
- Soils: Dry, gravelly or sandy soils.
This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Hairy Beardtongue. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).
This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Hairy Beardtongue. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.
The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.
These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.
- Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.
- Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.
- Avoid locating landings, staging areas, or access routes in open sandy areas dominated by native grasses.
Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species
- Prescribed burns and/or brushing may be beneficial (dependent on local site conditions).
- Survey for and control invasive plants prior to conducting timber operations, as these can be spread by vehicles and often respond vigorously to increased light; see forestry BMPs for invasive species.
- Maintain and restore open habitat through selective clearing and brushing.
Links to additional Hairy Beardtongue information
Other links related to vascular plants (all exit the DNR website)
- Wisconsin Vascular Plants
- Freckmann Herbarium
- Atlas of Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora - Wisconsin State Herbarium
- USDA - NRCS Plants Database
- USGS Midwestern Wetland Flora - field office guide to plant species
- Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Herbarium
- Intermountain Herbarium Grasses of North America
- Orchids of Wisconsin
Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.