Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_ovatus
ClassificationPenstemon Penstemon Penstemon Humiles
General Broad-leaved Penstemon Ovatus means “oval” or “egg-shaped”, referring to the broad, ovate leaves. It may resemble P. serrulatus that shares its range, but the anthers will be different. Blooms: May and June.
AntherGlabrous, the sacs totally opening and spreading nearly opposite, broadly boat-shaped to nearly explanate (flat).
StaminodeLightly bearded 1/3-1/2 its length with stiff, yellow hairs, recurved at the tip and slightly exserted to just reaching the orifice.
LeavesBasal rosette on moderately long petioles (stems) 5-15 cm (2-6”) total length, markedly serrate, finely hairy or occasionally glabrous (smooth), mostly ovate, the lowest stem leaves often oblanceolate; cauline leaves not much smaller below the inflorescence, stemless to cordate (heart-shaped) clasping, ovate to triangular, bright green and thin.
Stems3-10 dm (12-40”) tall, leafy below, usually pubescent (downy) with short, spreading hairs below the inflorescence.
InflorescenseGlandular (sticky), finely narrow to spreading, of 2 to 10 many-flowered verticillasters, the peduncles short or long (quite long when the verticillasters are numerous), moderately spreading away from the stem.
Corolla15-25 mm (1/2-1”) long, blue or blue-purple, the tube below lighter and expanded moderately, the lower lip much longer than the upper, glandular outside, the palate usually bearded and marked with guide lines.
Flower Color
Calyx2-5 mm (to 3/16”) long, the sepals ovate to lanceolate, entire and mostly green.
HabitatDamp, rocky openings in forests, forest margins and meadows at lower elevations (500’+)
RangeWest of the Cascade Crest, s British Columbia to Clark County, WA and Multnomah County, OR (possibly gone there, editor).