Penstemon calycosus
Beard tongue

Key Characteristics

Erect forb of moist open habitats; stem hairless with opposite sessile leaves; flowers pink to purple, uniting to form a wide, open tube; lobes of the calyx lanceolate, much longer than broad.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Clair22005
Distribution map for Penstemon calycosus

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Little habitat data are available for smooth beard tongue. The species was only noted as growing in an open area or in a prairie remnant along a golf course.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

No associates from Michigan are known. In the Chicago region this species occurs with such woodland associates as gray dogwood, hawthorn, honewort, spring beauty, wild licorice, Virginia creeper, white oak, poison ivy, black snakeroot, and false Solomon's-seal.


A status survey is recommended to compile more thorough habitat information. This species may benefit from management activities that promote the perpetuation of oak barrens and prairie grassland communities such as prescribed burning and removal of excessive woody brush.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 24, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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