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Large Prairie Beardtongue

Large Prairie Beardtongue

Large prairie beardtongue, which is commonly referred to as beardtongue, is a native perennial forb found in the prairie. Beardtongue is in the Plantaginaceae family.

Beardtongue is found throughout most of the Great Plains. Many times people cultivate it as an ornamental plant, and it escapes and naturalizes elsewhere.

The inflorescence of beardtongue has white to pale lavender flowers streaked with purple lines. Their flower shape refers to its name. It has large, showy, two-lipped flowers. Beardtongue flowers from April to June and can usually be found in localized groups in the prairie.

Cattle eat beardtongue in the early spring because of its high protein content. If the plants are heavily grazed they will rapidly disappear from an area. White-tailed deer also browse beardtongue during this time. Seeds may be eaten by rodents, and its flowers visited by butterflies.