Species Identification

Interested in the identification of penstemons? Please select a species then click on submit:

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_angustifolius
ClassificationPenstemon Penstemon Coerulei
GeneralNarrow-leaved Penstemon Stems: Short-lived perennial herb, 1-4 dm (4-16) tall; stems erect or ascending, single or few arising from a thick crown, this usually surmounting a taproot; herbage glabrous and glaucous (smooth and bluish)). Blooms: May to early June.
Anther1.2-1.5 mm long, opening the full length, becoming opposite but not flat, smooth except for the nipple-toothed cell edges.
StaminodeReaching the orifice, expanded at the recurved tip, bearded at the tip with short, golden-yellow hairs; fertile stamens included.
LeavesBasal and cauline ones 5-9 cm (2-3 ) long &1-16mm (to 5/8) wide, entire, fleshy, mostly cauline, linear to oblanceolate, stemmed, the upper cauline ones 3-10 cm (1-4) long & 3-120 mm (to ) wide, linear to lanceolate or narrowly ovate, acuminate, the narrow tip often long acuminate to caudate (tail-like) in the broader ones, stemless, bracts to 7 cm (2 ) long.
StemsShort-lived perennial herb, 1-4 dm (4-16) tall; stems erect or ascending, single or few arising from a thick crown, this usually surmounting a taproot; herbage glabrous and glaucous (smooth and bluish).
Inflorescensefrom 6-16 verticillasters, mostly aggregated into a continuous thyrse, the cymes usually many-flowered, smooth.
Corolla15-120 mm (5/8-3/4) long, lips blue to blue-purple or pink-lavender to pink, the lobes spreading, smooth externally, the palate sometimes with a few scattered whitish hairs.
Flower Color
Calyx5-7 mm (to ) long, the segments lanceolate to narrowly ovate, acuminate, smooth, becoming ribbed with age, the edges narrowly ragged, sometimes only near the base.
HabitatSandy plains, prairies and deserts, from desert shrub vegetation to pinyon-juniper woodlands, 1500-1750m (5000-5700).
RangeThe Dakotas and e MT, S through the high plains to ne NM and w across n NM to se, c, and ne UT and ne AZ. 1a Lower leaves medium width, 1/5 as wide as long, upper leaves 1/3-1/4 as wide, bracts to 7 cm & 2/3-1/3 as wide. 1b Bracts and upper leaves arrow-head shape, narrow abruptly from broad base to long, narrow tip, corolla 16-20 mm long. 1c Bracts strongly veined, corolla usually pink-lavender: var: angustifolius: northern Great Plains, s UT, n AZ, nw NM, w MT. 1c Bracts moderately veined, corolla varies noticeably in color on same plant: var. caudatus A. A. Heller, se CO, n NM, c KS, OK 1a Lower leaves very narrow, linear; upper leaves & bracts narrow lanceolate, taper to tip, to 10 cm (4) long, & 1/9 as wide, bracts to 5 cm (2) long &! /5-1/6 as wide. 1d Corolla pink to rose, lower leaves 1/9 as wide as long: var. dulcis, Juab & Millard Cos., UT (RARE) 1d Corolla blue, lower leaves 1/12 as wide as long, var. vernalensis, Daggett & Uintah Cos., UT, (RARE)