There are four
white-flowered Penstemon species in Missouri; this is the
tallest. It may grow to four feet; in the Center's
butterfly gardens it is usually 30 inches or so.
- The flowers
have two lips, the upper has two lobes and the lower has three.
One of the stamens is modified into a hairy 'tongue' which
probably helps to attract pollinating insects.
- Penstemon grows
almost everywhere in Missouri. Its habitats includes
moist woodland borders, prairies, fields and roadsides.
strong root system of Penstemon helps prevent soil erosion.
Americans used the roots to treat toothache and to
accelerate healing of open wounds.