Penstemon australis

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Penstemon australis
Penstemon australis Gil.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Penstemon
Species: P. australis
Binomial name
Penstemon australis
PENS AUST dist.jpg
Natural range of Penstemon australis from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Eustis Lake beardtongue; Southern beardtongue; Sandhill beardtongue

Taxonomic notes


Penstemon australis is a perennial herbaceous species.

"Virgate, single-stemmed to bushy, perennial herbs with a mildly fetid odor; stems glabrous or pubescent. Leaves simple, unlobed, serrate or entire, those of the basal rosette petiolate, cauline leaves sessile, opposite, usually lanceolate. Inflorescence a panicle or thyrse. Sepals 5, free to base; corolla tubular, 2-lipped, the upper lip 2- lobed, the lower lip 3-lobed, throat inflated; fertile stamens 4, staminode pubescent; stigmas undivided, style 1. Capsule subconical; seeds angular, reticulate, usually ca. 1 mm in diam." [1]

"Stems one to several, 2-7 dm tall, not branched above the base, glabrous to pubescent. Leaves glabrous to pubescent, moderately thick, the basal oblanceolate to obovate, usually 5-10 (14) cm long, 1.5-2.5 (3.5) cm wide, subentire or occasionally dentate, often persistent through anthesis, cauline laves narrowly lanceolate, 3-10 cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm wide, coarsely toothed to rarely subentire. Thyrse moderately compact, not leafy, glabrous to densely glandular, the tips of the glands less than ¼ the length of, and little broader than, the stalks. Sepals 3-5 mm long; corolla rose to lavender and violet, the guide lines usually reddish purple alternating with white, the floor deeply pleated, 15-25 mm long, gradually inflated to a throat 6-8 mm in diam., lobes spreading. Anther sacs glabrous, staminode densely bearded for most of its length with golden trichomes 1 mm long, exserted. Capsule 6-8 (10) mm long; seeds 0.1-1.1 mm long, often conspicuously apiculately thickened." [1]




P. australis occurs in the dry loamy sand of longleaf pine forests and pine-oak sandhills. [2] It also can be found in mixed woodlands and pine-hickory uplands. [2] On the other hand, it appears in disturbed habitat as well, including roadsides and near areas that have been logged. [2] Associated species include Pinus palustris, Carya, and Quercus. [2]


P. australis has been observed flowering in April, May, and June while fruiting has been observed in May.[2][3]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity. [4]

Fire ecology

This species has been found in habitat that is burned annually. [2]

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 947. Print.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Rodie White, Robert K. Godfrey, R. A. Norris, R. Komarek, and Loran C. Anderson. States and Counties: Florida: Gadsden, Leon, Liberty, Wakulla, and Washington. Georgia: Grady.
  3. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 12 DEC 2016
  4. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.