Tall Beard-tongue

Tall Beard-tongue
Tall Beard-tongue. Penstamon digitalis.
Plantaginaceae, the plantain family, formerly Scrophulariaceae, the figwort or snapdragon family.

Plant: Erect plant, 2'-3' high with opposite leaves, topped by a loose cluster of mostly white, often pink-marked, snap-dragon-like flowers. Perennial
Flowers: White, sometimes marked with pink or purple, snap-dragon-like, with a five-lobed corolla, the tube swollen in the middle; in terminal pannicles. Flowers have four fertile stamens, and a lower, sterile, hairy stamen, which gives the common name "beard-tongue".
Leaves: Opposite. Stem leaves narrowly ovate to narrowly triangular, 2"-8", sessile, toothed or smooth. Basal leaves, when present, more obovate.
Fruit: An ovoid capsule.
Blooming: June-July
Habitat: Open woods, clearings, sometimes spreading to fields.

Comments: The penstamons or beardtongues are a large group, particularly prevalent in western and alpine regions of North America. Both names refer to the unusual, sterile, fifth stamen which is often hairy. The genus was formerly placed with the figworts, in the family Scrophlariaceae, but recent genetic studies have resulted in this, and many other snap-dragon-like flowers being placed in a greatly expanded plantain family, Plantaginaceae.

Where to find it: These pictures were taken in the area around the small drainage pond across Westfall road from the main park. It is the only location I have seen this flower.