Bearded tongues (Penstemon spp) consist of over 250 different herbaceous perennials which feature lance shaped foliage and spikes of bright-colored, tubular flowers. Most penstemons are deciduous or semi-evergreen perennials, the remainder being shrubs or subshrubs. They are native mainly to the Nearctic.
Bearded tongues are known for their ability to accumulate excessive levels of selenium. Too much selenium is toxic to poultry, causing acute or chronic selenium poisoning.