Penstemon pallidus
Pale beard tongue

Key Characteristics

Slender forb of a variety of often disturbed habitats; stem finely hairy with opposite, sessile, lanceolate, pubescent leaves; flowers white, uniting to form a slender open tube 15-20 mm long.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: SX
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Penstemon pallidus

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 Michigan's few collections, which only note that this species was found in dry sandy ground in fields and along roadsides, with one collection coming from a depression adjacent to a mature oak forest.

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 associate data from Michigan are known. In the Chicago region, this species occurs on wooded slopes and in dry prairies, where it occurs with such species as hairy aster, poverty grass, Canada bluegrass, and three-seeded mercury.


A status survey is needed. If found, this species would likely benefit from management that promotes oak barrens and prairie communities like prescribed burning and brush removal.

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 22, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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