Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_cardinalis
ClassificationPenstemon Habroanthus Elmigera
GeneralCardinal Penstemon Appears on Sensitive Plant List, NM Blooms: May to June.
Antherspreading apart, opening only at opposite ends, toothed on the opening edge.
StaminodeBearded with golden hairs on tip that is not dilated: fertile stamens are included.
Leaves10-12 cm (4 ) long and 5-6 cm (2) wide, smooth, dull, very gray or bluish-green, waxy. Basal ones are short stemmed and blunt at tip, elliptic, spatulate or ovate. Cauline leaves are oblong, ovate, lanceolate, pointed at the tip and stemless. They are unique in alternating directions by 90 degrees at each node.
Stems40-70 cm (15-27) tall, often spreading with paired lower leaves which alternate direction 90 degrees as they ascend the stem, few to several gray-green stems.
InflorescenseUnbranched, with 1-2 one inch long cymes, each 2-flowered and all one-sided.
Corolla22-30 mm (7/8-1 ) long, slightly swollen, dark or bluish-red tubes, compressed just before lips like a drawstring, upper 2 lips erect, lower 3 spreading and covered with golden hairs on palate, which may disguise the guidelines.
Flower Color
Calyx3-3.5 mm (<1/4) long, with ovate segments pointed or blunt, narrowly thinned on edges and may be red.
HabitatPine or spruce-fir associations.
Range Found at elevations1372-1820 m (4500-6000). subsp cardinalis is noted for its deep red, downward facing tubular flowers, constricted just behind the lips. subsp regalis (a. Nelson) Nisbet & Jackson is endemic to the Guadalupe Mountains of sw NM with thicker leaves, the lower ones sometimes elliptic. Calyx is longer, 4-6 mm; its lobes are ovate and sharply tipped.