Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_nitidus
ClassificationPenstemon Penstemon Coerulei
GeneralShining Penstemon. The common name “shining” refers to the shiny glaucous leaves. Blooms: May to July.
Anther0.8-1.2 mm long, opening completely, opening to broad boat shape, smooth, the sacs spreading opposite.
StaminodeShortly exserted out of the corolla, recurved and expanded at the tip, densely bearded with yellow hairs.
LeavesBasal ones to 10 cm (4”) long, broad or narrow, depending upon the variety, mostly lance-shaped and tapered to short stems, thick and leathery, heavily glaucous, smooth and entire; cauline leaves stemless to clasping, lanceolate to broadly heart-shaped or round.
Stems1-3 dm (4-12”) tall, few or as many as 7stems, often curving at the base, glabrous and glaucous (smooth and bluish).
InflorescenseCylindrical of 4 to10 verticillasters, usually well-separated below but crowded above, the cymes 2- to 5-flowered and glabrous.
Corolla13-18 mm (1/2-11/16”) long, bright blue or occasionally pinkish, often some white showing in the throat with guide lines, the palate glabrous or sparsely bearded.
Flower Color
CalyxThe sepals lanceolate to ovate, entire and acuminate, glabrous and glaucous, 3-8 mm (to 5/16”) long.
HabitatOpen grassy plains to fairly high elevation in the mountains.
RangeSouthern Alberta (also reported from se BC) to s Manitoba, MT to n WY and ND. var. nitidus: Leaves and bracts of the lower inflorescence broadly ovate to nearly round; calyx 3-6 mm (to ¼”) long. var. polyphyllus (Pennell) Cronquist: Leaves and bracts of the inflorescence narrowly lanceolate, much longer than broad; calyx 5-8 mm (to 5/8”) long.