Nature’s annual cycle means that, at any given time during the wildflower season, I can rely upon the experience from other years to know which flowers I am likely to find on my walks in Detroit’s Eliza Howell Park.
However, while I know what to expect in terms of probable species, no two years are fully alike.
I often find that my attention is drawn to a species that I paid much less attention to in previous years. Right now, I find myself focused on Foxglove Beardtongue more than any other flower and more than I have been in other years.
Foxglove Beardtongue, sometimes known as Foxglove Penstemon, stands about 3 feet tall and does well both in sunshine and in part shade. It is widespread at present in some non-mowed park fields and in openings among large trees.
I am attracted particularly to the tubular flowers.
As can be seen from these last two photos, the flowers on some plants have violet lines; on some they do not. I am not sure which I find more attractive. The important question, of course, is which do bees find more attractive. I don’t have the answer to that either.
Foxglove Beardtongue is native in the eastern U. S. For a late Spring / early Summer flower, it has a relatively long blooming time. It would be, perhaps, an excellent addition to a native flower garden.
At this time of the year, it stands taller than many neighboring plants in some locations in the park, calling for the attention that, in my opinion, it deserves.
The field view is attractive, but I find myself repeatedly going in for closer looks at my current favorite Eliza Howell wildflower.