Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_ophianthus
ClassificationPenstemon Penstemon Cristati
GeneralSnake Flowered Penstemon [synonym: P. jamesii subsp. ophianthus Keck, 1938; P. pilosigulatus A. Nels., 1926] The species is similar to P. jamesii except that the corolla is shorter and the staminode is substantially exserted. The specific name translates to “snake flower” referring to the staminode reminiscent of a snake’s tongue. Blooms: May to June
AntherSmall, projecting almost to tip of upper petals.
StaminodeExserted, not dilated at tip, heavily bearded with bright yellow hairs most of length.
Leaves3-7.5 cm (1-3”) long, slightly toothed, basal ones oblanceolate and stemmed, stem ones linear to lanceolate,
Stems13-27 cm (5-10.5”) tall with one to several stems that are somewhat sticky or glandular-hairy.
InflorescenseCymes 2-3 flowered.
Corolla14-20 mm (5/8-3/4”) long, lavender, violet or blue-violet (rarely, white) with deep purple guide-lines on all lobes, white throat with guidelines also, glandular hairy inside and outside, with long, soft white hairs.
Flower Color
Calyx6-10 mm (<3/8”) long, lobes are lanceolate or long and narrow, sharply pointed and papery at base of lobes.
HabitatSagebrush or pinyon-juniper to Ponderosa pine communities.
RangeSandia Mts. and ranges west of the Rio Grand R., northwest NM, sw CO, se & sc UT, n AZ.