Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_gairdneri
ClassificationPenstemon Penstemon Penstemon Gairdneriani
GeneralGairdner’s Penstemon. Blooms: May and June.
Anther0.8-1.2 mm long, glabrous (smooth) the sacs opening full length, spreading opposite, broadly boat-shaped, usually not explanate (flat).
StaminodeIncluded or slightly exserted beyond orifice, bearded on the outer half with yellow hairs.
Leaves1-7 cm (3/8-2 3/4”) long, narrow to linear, entire, not usually opposite in var. gairdneri while var. oreganus has both opposite and alternate leaves, not greatly reduced below the inflorescence, very finely downy throughout, narrow, often rolled inward.
StemsMat forming subshrub, 1-4 dm (4-16”) tall, usually several erect stems rise in a clump with short, sterile leafy stems at the base, herbage very finely gray-pubescent (downy).
InflorescenseA raceme or mixed raceme-panicle, usually from several nodes, few-flowered, sometimes secund (flowers on one-side of stem) very finely downy, distinct from leafy stem below, cymes just visible, 1 cm long, 1-2 flowered.
Corolla14-22 mm (5/8-7/8”) long, blue-lavender (rarely pink-lavender) with some white in the throat, the tube not much expanded, expanded moderately on all sides, petal lobes widely flaring, not strongly 2-lipped, sometimes glandular both outside and on the palate.
Flower Color
Calyx3-8 mm long (to 3/8”) long, sepals lanceolate to ovate, acute at tip, entire or slightly thin edges, ragged and glandular (sticky) or merely downy.
HabitatDry, often rocky sites, frequently with sagebrush, in the plains to moderate elevations in the mountains.
RangeCentral WA to e OR and Valley Co., ID. var. gairdneri: Leaves alternate (may be a few opposite); central WA to cent and e-cent. OR. var. oreganus: Leaves opposite, usually with a few scattered or alternate leaves on the stem; Union and Baker Cos.,OR to Valley Co., ID.