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Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red'

Tall White Beardtongue /

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Beautiful, lettuce-like, deep red leaves give rise to thick spikes of white flowers. Butterflies visit the flowers for nectar and songbirds such as cardinals and goldfinch eat ripe seed from the flower stems in fall and winter.


  • Easy-to-grow, profuse white flowers on strong deep red stems
  • Flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators, especially bumblebees
  • Rich bronze red deer resistant foliage
  • Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year (1996)
  • Good cut flower blooming late spring to early summer
  • Songbirds feed on seed

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Easy to grow in average, dry to medium wet, well-drained soil. Needs full sun for best foliage color. Leave old flower stems standing to provide seed for songbirds.

24-30 Inches


18-24 Inches

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

Native Range

Moist forest gaps, bottomlands and prairies; Nova Scotia to Minnesota south to Texas and Virginia.

Native Trivia

Butterflies and bees contribute to a healthy ecosystem by moving pollen from one flower to another (fertilization) so seeds will form and new plants are created.

"Hummingbirds and butterflies love the long blooming flowers; you'll love the red foliage as well."

Good Companions
Dwarf Wild Indigo (Baptisia minor)

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
  • Medium Perennials
  • Medium to Tall Perennials
  • Filtered Shade
  • Sun
  • Well-drained
  • Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
  • Dry
  • Moist
Attracts Wildlife
  • Beneficial insects
  • Butterflies
Bloom Time
  • Late Summer
  • Summer
Critter Resistance
  • Deer Resistant
Habitat Collection
  • Butterfly
  • Songbird
Native Habitat
  • Grassland
Foliage Color
  • Green
  • Red
  • Accent
  • Border
  • Cut or dried flower
  • Mass plant
  • Meadow
  • Naturalizes
Native to
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin