Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_eatonii
ClassificationPenstemon Habroanthus Elmigera
GeneralEaton’s Firecracker Penstemon Blooms: June to July.
Anther1.8-2.3 mm, parallel sacs open from outer edges 2/3-3/4, fuzzy on the sides, toothed and may or may not project beyond orifice.
StaminodeMay be reddish, included in flower, smooth or sparsely bearded at tip; fertile stamens included to reaching the edges or exserted.
LeavesBasal and lower leaves 5-10 cm (2-4”) long and 16-28 mm (3/4-1”) wide are stemless, hairless, elliptic to broadly obovate, sometimes heart-shaped at base and clasping. Upper leaves 3-9 cm, broadly lanceolate to ovate, pointed, stemless, all deep green and glossy.
Stems4-10 dm (12-40”) tall, stems erect or ascending, few to several, smooth or fuzzy stems arising from a short-branched caudex; with a leafy basal rosette, short-lived, when it has 4-5 woody stems may be in it’s last year, herbage smooth or fuzzy.
InflorescenseThyrse of 4-12 verticillasters, the cymes 1- or 2-flowered, stems short, smooth to fuzzy, flowers secund (one side of stem), with side flowering stems and upper part of principal flower stem perhaps dark red.
Corolla24-30 mm (1-1 ¼”) long, deep scarlet red, nearly straight tubes, hairless inside and out, tube decurved (incurving) near base. Flower face is rounded, with almost equal lobes not much larger than the diameter of tube.
Flower Color
Calyx4-5 mm (about ¼”) long, with sepals red-green, ovate and tapering to sharp tips, with thinned, ragged edges.
HabitatDry slopes and flats in sagebrush, pinyon-juniper, mountain mahogany and ponderosa pine communities, 1500-2800 m (5000-9300’).
RangeNorthwestern NM, sw CO, Great Basin from Nye and White Pine Cos., NV and Juab Co. UT south to s CA, c UT (Wasatch Mts, and Utah Plateaus and Canyonlands NP). var eatonii has smooth herbage throughout and is found in Nye and White Pine Cos, NV and Juab and Carbon Cos., UT, south to Mojave Desert mts. of s Inyo Co and e San Bernardino Co, CA and s NV and plateaus and mesas of N AZ and sw CO. var. undosus M. E. Jones has fuzzy herbage and is found in south Lincoln and Clark cos., NV, Wayne and s Grand Cos, UT, and sw CO, south to the San Bernardino Mts of s CA and Gila and Pinal Cos. AZ and nw NM. subsp exsertus (A. Nels.) Keck is found only in Arizona and marked by its conspicuously exserted anthers and fuzzy herbage.