In accordance with Western Carolina University’s policies in response to Covid-19, Highlands Biological Station is currently closed to the public with the exception of the Botanical Garden trails, but does remain open to researchers and faculty on a limited basis; please contact the HBS office (828-526-2602) for information on reservations, rates, and Covid-19 policies.  We currently plan to offer our field courses, workshops, Grant-in-Aid program, and HBS Nature Center programs in summer 2021, with Covid-19 safety protocols in place (TBA).​ Please bear in mind, however, that University policy and HBS program plans are subject to change in light of developments with the pandemic this winter and spring, and those interested in attending HBS courses or programs or utilizing HBS facilities in spring or summer 2021 should check the HBS website regularly for updates.

Penstemon digitalis

Penstemon digitalis

Foxglove

Plantaginaceae

Penstemon digitalis, commonly called “foxglove” or beard tongue” is a white flowering native perennial. The flowers themselves are tubular shaped, which attract pollinators with long proboscis including, bumble bees (Bombus sp.), miner bees (Andrena sp.), and leaf-cutting bees (Megachilidae sp.). While hummingbirds typically prefer vibrant colored tubular flowers, you might also spot one or two small winged visitors. Bloom color can also be tinged purple or pink in some cases.