Woodland Beardtongue (Nothochelone nemorosa)

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Late-season purple flowers for hummingbirds and other pollinators!

Woodland Beardtongue is a handsome plant which is usually found in moist, partly-shaded forests. Throughout the spring it sends up multiple branches, along which grow serrated leaves. During summer, long purple flowers grow at the tips of the branches. These are well-liked by hummingbirds and bumble bees, among other native bees and pollinators.

Woodland Beardtongue used to be classified in the genus Penstemon, like other plants that get the common name "beardtongue". However, while all the other Penstemons have wingless seeds, this plant has seeds with very small wings. Because of those slightly-winged seeds, Woodland Beartongue was kicked out of the Penstemon club, and dropped into its own genus, Nothochelone. It's pretty lonely there, with no other plants in its genus. We think it would be less lonely in your garden!

Photo Credit: By Walter Siegmund (talk) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9802112

Photo Credit: By Walter Siegmund (talk) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9802106

Perennial (multiple years)
Part sun to mostly shade
Moist soil, can handle some dryness
1-3 feet tall
Elongated, purple flowers
Bloom Period:
Mid to late summer
Dark green serrated leaves
Native Range:
South BC to Northern California, both sides of the Cascades
Typical Habitat:
Forest openings, rocky forest edges, low to middle elevations