Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_eriantherus
ClassificationPenstemon Penstemon Cristati
GeneralFuzzy-tongue or Crested-tongue Penstemon. Blooms: May
Anther1.1-1.7 mm, opening the full length and becoming opposite, but not flat, essentially smooth.
StaminodeReaching the orifice to exserted, coiled at tip, densely yellow-bearded; fertile stamens reaching the orifice.
LeavesBasal and lower stem leaves to 10 cm (4) & 4-10 mm long, entire to toothed, oblanceolate to sometimes obovate, tapering into a long-stemmed base, the upper cauline ones 2.5-7 cm (1/4-5/8) long, linear to lanceolate, stemless, toothed.
Stems0.8-2 dm (3-8) tall, stems erect or ascending, few to several clustered on a frequently branched, woody caudex, this surmounting a taproot; herbage cinerous-puberulent with retrorsely hairs.
InflorescenseThyrse not one-sided, of 2-5 densely flowered verticillasters, the stems and calyces and often the axis (degree of angle at stem and leaf), glandular-pubescent (sticky-hairy).
Corolla15-27 mm (1/2-1) long in ours, pale lavender to violet, sometimes bluish, ventricose-ampliate (pouched, belled), rounded beneath strong bilabiate (2-lipped) upper lip projecting, the lobes of lower lip reflexed, glandular-pubescent (sticky, fuzzy) externally, the palate yellow-bearded.
Flower Color
Calyx7-12 mm (to 3/8) long, the sepals lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, the edges herbaceous (soft, green).
HabitatSagebrush slopes and dry plains in valleys and foothills.
RangeSoutheastern BC and e WA to se OR, c ID, ne and e WY, adj. nc CO, and w NB. 1a Leaves lanceolate with sharp tip, usually medium width or narrow to 10 cm (4) long & 1/8-1/10 as wide (sometimes vary to broad, as wide): bracts broad, as wide as long. 1b Anthers become explanate (flat), wide at connective tissue, inflorescence compact; corolla pale to deep red-violet or purple, paler within & at top of lip, often large. 1c Anther sacs as wide as long to 2/3 as wide, corolla 2-4 cm (5/8-1 ) long, lower lip with dense beard, inflorescence grey-pubescent, staminode with dense yellow-orange beard, coiled at tip, long exserted; s BC, s Alberta, MT, ND s to c WA, WY, CO, NB: var. eriantherus [syn:P. cristatus] 1c Anther sacs -2/3 as wide as long, (rarely, only slightly explanate) (flat); corolla 15-27 mm (1/2-1) long; inflorescence and leaves vary to resemble other subspecies (possible hybrids); plant sometimes short, 8-20 cm (3-8) tall; staminode with yellow beard, sometimes not exserted, sw MT, c ID, barely into ne OR. : var. redactus. 1b Anther sacs remain boat-shape, narrow at connective, 13-1/2 as wide as long; inflorescence in distinct clusters; corolla usually not pale within, 18-23 mm long, lower lip with moderate beard; staminode slightly curved at tip, sometimes not exserted. 1d Corolla rosy-purple, nearly regular, lobes broad, rounded, often project; guidelines faint or wanting; bracts broad, -1/3 as wide as long; herbage yellow-green or grey-green, densely pubescent in inflorescence; staminode with yellow-orange beard, Chelan & Douglas Cos., WA: var whitedii 1d Corolla deep blue-purple, sometimes red-purple, slightly 2-lipped; lower lobes oblong reflexed; bracts medium with or narrow, 1/9-1/5 as wide as long; herbage bright green; staminode with slight, pale or white beard its length, tuft at tip, or not bearded: c & ne OR: var. argillosus 1a Leaves elliptic, blunt; lower leaves moderately broad, to 6 cm (2 ) long & as wide; upper leaves medium width, to 45 mm (1 ) long & 1/6 as wide; bracts narrow, to 30 mm & 1/7 as wide; herbage dark green, leathery; pubescence dense only in cymes; calyx: 6-8 mm long; corolla expanded moderately, slightly narrowed at lip, pale blue-lavender or pink-lavender, paler with & on all lobes, 17-22 mm long; plant 7-15 cm (2 -6) tall, staminode slightly curved at tip, with dense pale orange beard most of its length; anther sacs become flat; s WY, ne UT, sc MT. var Cleburnei [syn: P. cleburnei]