Planting and Growing the Wild Foxglove

Also known as the prairie penstemon, the false foxglove, the large-flowered pentemon, prairie beardtongue, and the Cobaea penstemon, the wild foxglove is from the figwort family of plants. It is native to the United States and is botanically known as the Penstemon cobaea.

Wild Foxglove Description

Growing one to two feet high, the wild foxglove has large flowers and thick leaves. Leaves are paired and grow smaller as it goes up the stem. Flowers are showy and can be white, dark pink, or lavender with dark purple floral tube lines inside. Stems are stout and are from a woody rhizome. Bloom season is between April and May.

Growing Guide

The wild foxglove prefers to grow in full sun or partial shade with a dry acidic soil. Propagate by seed. Seed may do better after a period of cold-moist stratification. It will bloom the second year after sowing. This particular plant may have a dormant period during the summer season. Stems should be cut back after flowering or after seeds have ripened.


It is found in the states of Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. It is seen in the limestone outcrops, hillsides and the Blackland prairies.

Wildlife Attracted

There are many moths and insects that are attracted to the plant, including the dotted checkerspot butterfly as a larval host. It provides cover for small wildlife and it is attractive to hummingbirds.

An attractive plant, this is not a relative of the true foxglove that is of European descent.

Source: NPIN

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