Wildflowers of the United States

Home Journal Family Index - All States Photo Albums News About Privacy

Slender Gerardia, Slenderleaf False Foxglove - Agalinis tenuifolia


Family: Orobanchaceae - Broom-rape family Genus Common Name: False Foxglove Native Status: NativeAnnual Herb
Agalinis tenuifolia - Slender Gerardia, Slenderleaf False Foxglove. Found in most of the eastern 2/3 of the United States, it is a plant of "Special Concern" in Rhode Island. It was formerly classified as Gerardia purpurea.

This branching plant may be found in sprawling colonies. It has dark green to purple leaves and stems to about 2-feet tall, with small pink to purple blossoms. Similar species found in the region (from Wildflowers Of Tennessee, The Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians) and why I don't think this is that species:
  • Agalinis purpurea (Smooth Purple Gerardia) - Although the specimen photographed on this page have yellow in the throat as does A. purpurea, the pedicels of A. purpurea are shorter, and that species does not exhibit the upper corolla lip extending over the stamens. While the specimens I photographed for this page have hairy stamens, I detected no hair in the corolla tube itself - a characteristic of A. purpurea.
  • Agalinis fasciculata (Fascicled Purple Gerardia) - This species is similar to A. purpurea, but also has another feature missing from A. tenuifolia - clusters of fascicles (tiny leaves) in many of the leaf axils.
  • Agalinis gattingeri (Gattinger's Gerardia) - A. gattingeri has pale green flowering branches, and net-veined calyx tube.
  • Agalinis auriculata (Earleaf False Foxglove) - The leaves of A. auriculata are wide, toothed, and sometimes lobed.


Update 07/20/2012: In researching another Agalinis species, I found that ITIS lists this genus in Orobanchaceae - the Broom-rape family, so I have updated this record, moving it out of the former classification within Scrophulariaceae - the Figwort family.

Found in:
AL, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY

Journal Articles Referencing False Foxglove

Leave comments on Agalinis tenuifolia at this link.
Agalinis tenuifolia

Distribution of Agalinis tenuifolia in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 17 Oct 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Search Our Database: Enter any portion of the Scientific, Common Name, or both.
Scientific name:
Common name:

Example: Enter "lob" in the common name field and you'll get all our species that have "lobelia" in the common name, as well as "sharp-lobed hepatica".

Do a general Google search of the entire site:



Follow on Twitter
Follow USWildflowers on Twitter


Site: Blount County, TN Date: 2010-October-16Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Slenderleaf False Foxglove (Slender Gerardia) has pink to purple blossoms that are about inch wide, with an upper corolla lip that hangs over the stamens.
Agalinis tenuifolia

Site: Blount County, TN Date: 2010-October-16Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
The stems are dark green to purple. Here the late-season plant is all dark. The pdeicels are typically more than .8 of an inch long.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Agalinis tenuifolia

Site: Blount County, TN Date: 2010-October-16Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Several many-branched Slender Gerardia plants can make a fair sized, sprawling colony.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Agalinis tenuifolia

Commercial / Cookie Notice

Looking for Wildflowers for a specific state? Check here:



All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer