Penstemon cobaea var. purpureus Showy Beardtongue Purple Beard-Tongue
PEN-steh-mon  koh-BE-uh

Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers Seeds and Potted Plants
for Home Landscaping and Prairie Restoration

Our Penstemon cobaea var. purpureus is a wild variety native to the Ozarks with very Rich Showy Purple Flowers

  Habitat Bloom Period Color Height Inches Moisture Plant Spacing Lifespan
Penstemon cobaea, showy beardtongue, purple beardtongue picture, pen.co2 Sun May and June Purple 12 - 30 Dry to Average 12 to 24 Inches Perennial
Penstemon cobaea, showy beardtongue, purple beardtongue picture Beardtongue with
Missouri Primrose in background
Penstemon cobaea, showy beardtongue, purple beardtongue picture penstemon cobaea var. purpureus Showy Beardtongue Purple Beardtongue Penstemon cobaea var. cobaea showy beardtongue purple beardtongue picture Penstemon cobaea purpureus Showy Beardtongue Purple Beard-Tongue with lanceleaf coreopsis lanceolata Beardtongue 
lanceleaf coreopsis in background

    Penstemon cobaea Showy Beardtongue Purple Beardtongue Photo by cj  click on pictures for larger images

Plant Showy Purple Beardtongue with Missouri Primrose  and Yellow Coneflowers for contrasting yellow colors

For our other native wildflowers visit Wildflower Seed and Potted Plant Price List

 to order copy and mail the order form
email questions, comments, and orders to  

Penstemon cobaea Showy Beardtongue potted plants are $5 each plus Boxing/Shipping. 
email with your zip code and number of plants for shipping costs on potted plants.

Penstemon cobaea seed
Showy Beardtongue seed

number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet -  $ 2.50


30 sq ft

1 ounce -   $---


400 sq ft

1 pound -- $---


6,400 sq ft

Seed shipping chart at bottom of page
Penstemon cobaea
, Showy beardtongue or Purple Beard Tongue has very showy rich violet or rose-purple 2 inch long flowers blooming in tight clusters on 12 to 30 inch stems.  Purple Beardtongue provides excellent color contrast when planted with lemon yellow Missouri Primrose , Yellow Coneflower, or yellow lanceleaf Coreopsis in a rock garden or prairie garden.  Plant Purple beardtongue in lean to average well-drained soil in full sun with Prairie Dropseed grass, Baptisia (Blue or White Indigo), Echinacea (Coneflowers), and Callirhoe (Poppy Mallows).

Penstemon cobaea, Showy Beardtongue, Purple Beardtongue seed germination is improved after a pretreatment of 8 to 12 weeks of cold moist stratification or when planted outside in the fall or early winter.

Native Penstemon cobaea is a beautifully flashy plant hardy over most of the US and occurs naturally on limestone glades and sandy or loamy, well drained soil from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska to Missouri and introduced in Ohio and Arizona.  . Scrophulariaceae (Snapdragon Family)

The map below shows areas where Penstemon cobaea, Showy Beardtongue, Purple Beardtongue grows wild. When planted Purple Beardtongue will grow over most of the Midwest and Eastern US.  USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9. 

Penstemon cobaea
Showy Beard-tongue


New Mexico

State Distributional Map for Penstemon cobaea, showy purple beard-tongue wild flower seed

Use the chart below for shipping charges on Penstemon cobaea showy purple beardtongue wildflower seeds

to order copy and mail the order form
email questions, comments and orders to 

email with your zip code and number of plants for shipping charges and availability on Penstemon cobaea var. purpureus Showy Beardtongue Purple Beardtongue  potted plants

We accept payment by check, money order, and through Paypal

The minimum seed order amount is $10, this can be a combination of different seeds.

subtotal for flower seeds 

shipping charge for seeds

seed orders up to  $20.00    =  

 $4.00 shipping

$20.01 - $50.00    =  

 $6.00 shipping

$50.01-$100.00    =  

 $7.50 shipping

over $100.00    =    7.5 % of subtotal


   Flower Pictures   Wildflower Seed and Potted Plant Price list   Order Form   

Easyliving Wildflowers
PO Box  522
Willow Springs,  MO.  65793
Phone 417-469-2611 

We accept payment by check or money order and through PayPal

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Penstemon cobaea var. purpureus Showy Beardtongue Purple Beardtongue  potted plants distribution map complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.


















working on page

Alternate Names
Grazing/rangeland: 'Cedar' and 'Bandera' are the only released penstemons noted to have any forage value. 'Cedar' leaves stay green throughout the growing season providing some forage value. All other varieties are considered fair to poor palatability and considered to be only incidental forage value. All species provide diversity to the seeded plant community.
Erosion control/reclamation: All species are mentioned for their value in mixes for erosion control and beautification values.
Wildlife: Penstemons are considered desirable forages for deer, antelope and birds either as herbage or seed. They may also provide some cover for selected small bird species. They provide diversity to the plant community.
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plantís current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).
Penstemons (Penstemon spp.) are perennial forbs, subshrubs to shrubs with attractive flowers. Common to the western United States. Except for one minor species, the genus Penstemon does not occur naturally outside of North America. They are short to long-lived. Penstemons have opposite, entire or toothed leaves. They have several stalked flowers or flower clusters that are borne in the axils of the upper leaves or leaflike bracts. The tubular flower is strongly to distinctly two-lipped at the mouth with a two-lobed upper lip and a three-lobbed lower lip. There are 4 fertile stamens and a single sterile stamen that is often hairy at the tip. The fruit is a many-seeded capsule.
Adaptation and Distribution
Penstemons do best on well-drained soils. Most ecotypes do well on infertile, disturbed soils. They have excellent cold winter and drought tolerance. They will tolerate weakly saline to weakly acidic sites. They are usually found in open areas, but will tolerate semi-shaded conditions. They are somewhat fire-resistant due to leaves staying green with relatively high moisture content during the fire season.
Penstemon is distributed throughout the entire United States. For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Website.
These species should be seeded with a drill or broadcast at a depth of 1/4 inch or less into a firm seedbed. Ideal seeding depth is 1/8 inch. Penstemons are not recommended for single species seeding. The full seeding rate (not recommended) for these forbs-shrubs is 1.5 to 3 pounds Pure Live Seed (PLS) per acre or 20 to 26 PLS per square foot (varies somewhat by species). When used as a component of a mix, adjust to percent of mix desired. For mined
Dr. G Dallas and Margaret Hanna California Academy of Sciences
lands and other harsh critical areas, doubling the seeding rate component of penstemon is not required. The best seeding results are obtained from seeding in very early spring (because of grass component of mix) on heavy to medium textured soils and in late fall on medium to light textured soils. Late summer (August - mid September) seeding is not recommended. Dormant fall seedings (preferred seeding period for penstemons) will pre-chill seed and reduce seed dormancy which is very strong in some species. Mulching, irrigation and weed control all benefit stand establishment. Seedling vigor is good, but not as good as most grasses. Germination may not occur until the second growing season. Flowering should not be expected until at least the second growing season.
Growth of penstemons begins in early spring and flowers appear in May through July depending on species. Weed control and removal of very competitive species may improve chance of establishment. Damage from wildlife and rodents may occur and they may need to be controlled. Disease problems are minimal except under irrigation. Under irrigation, fusarium wilt can be a problem.
Pests and Potential Problems
Stands may require weed control measures during establishment. Because penstemons are broad-leaved, use of 2,4-D is not recommended. Mow weeds at or prior to their bloom stage. New stands may also be damaged by grasshoppers and other insects and pesticides may be needed.
Environmental Concerns
Penstemon species establish and spread slowly via seed distribution. They are not considered "weedy" or invasive species, but can spread into adjoining vegetative communities under ideal climatic and environmental conditions. They coexist with other native species and add biodiversity to those plant communities.
Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin)
Alpine penstemon (P. venustus Dougl ex. Lindl.) is a selected class release from seed originally collected in
the Clearwater River drainage, Idaho; 'Bandera' (P. strictus Benth.) Rocky Mountain penstemon was developed from seed originally collected in Torrance County, New Mexico; 'Cedar' (P. palmeri Gray) Palmer penstemon was developed from seed originally collected near Cedar City in Iron County, Utah; Firecracker penstemon (P. eatonii Gray) is a selected release from seed originally collected near Richfield, Utah.
A number of other penstemons are seeded primarily for soil stabilization on depleted, disturbed and erosive areas for erosion control and as ornamentals. These include low penstemon (P. humilis Nutt. ex Gray), Rydberg penstemon (P. rydbergii A. Nels.), and thinleaf penstemon (P. pachyphyllus Gray ex Rydb.). No releases have been made.