Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_pachyphyllus
ClassificationPenstemon Penstemon Coerulei
GeneralThick-leaved Penstemon Blooms: May to July.
Anther1.1-1.5 mm long, opening the full length, becoming opposite, but flat, smooth except for the finely nipple-toothed cell edges.
StaminodeReaching the edges to slightly excluded; moderately to broadly expanded distally to 2 mm wide, the tip uncinate and densely bearded with long tangled, hairs, 1-2 mm long, pale, brownish-yellow, orange or bright yellow; fertile stamen.
LeavesBasal ones 5-10 cm (2-4) long & 12-35 mm (3/8-1 3/8) wide, oblanceolate to obovate or spatulate, obtuse, rounded, often mucronate (very sharp tip), tapering to a petiolar (stemmed) base, the cauline ones 2-5 cm (3/4-2) long & 7-20 mm (1/2-3/4) wide, lanceolate to ovate, acute or usually mucronate, sessile and cauline (stemless, on flowering stem), rounded or cordate-clasping (heart-shaped, surrounding stem), basally.
StemsShort-lived perennial herb, 3-6.5 dm (12-26) tall, often with well developed basal leaves; stems erect or ascending, simple, few or several arising from a thick crown or short-branched caudex; herbage glabrous and glaucous (smooth and bluish).
Inflorescense5-10 verticillasters, interrupted or sometimes gathering into a continuous thyrse, the cymes 2-5-flowered, smooth.
Corolla17-20 mm (to ) long, moderately bulging, the throat rounded above, the tube obscurely bilabiate, the lobes subequal, spreading or the upper sometimes somewhat projecting, the lips blue to violet, sometimes varying to shade of purple or lavender, the tube blue-violet to violet, smooth externally, the palate occasionally bearded with a few scattered hairs.
Flower Color
Calyx5-7 mm () long, segments broadly lanceolate to ovate, acute or acuminate, smooth, often anthocyanous (bluish), becoming ribbed with age, the margins scarious (edges ragged), entire to undulate or slightly papery.
HabitatDry gravelly or sometimes sandy soils in sagebrush, pinyon-juniper, Gambel oak, Ponderosa pine and sometimes bristlecone pine communities, 1600-2500 m (5200-8300) elev.
RangeIn the Calcareous Mts. sec. of ec NV (White Pine, Egan, Schell Creek, and Snake ranges) and Wah Wah Mts. of w UT and the Utah and Grand Canyon Plateaus sec. n to the Uinta Basin and Uinta Mts. Of Duchesne, Dagget and Uintah Cos., UT and adj. Rio Blanco Co, CO. var pachyphyllus: Staminode broadly expanded at tip, 1-2 mm wide, yellow-bearded, cauline leaves rounded-mucronate: Uinta Basin and Uinta Mts. in Duchesne, Dagget and Uintah Cos, UT and adj. Rio Blanco Co., CO. var. congestus (M. E. Jones) N Holmgren: Staminode expanded at tip, but less than 1 mm wide, pale yellow-to brownish-yellow bearded; cauline leaves acute or obtuse to rounded, less often mucronate: West Tavaputs, UT and Grand Canyon plateaus to s Uinta Basin UT, s to n AZ, Calcareous Mts w UT, ec NV (White Pine, Egan, Schell Creek, and Snake ranges). var mucronatus (N. Holmgren) Neese [synonym: P. mucronatus]: staminode of short beard hair at tip, about 2 mm wide, lower leaves to 60 (rarely) 100 mm (2 ) & as wide; upper leaves to 30 mm (1) long & 2/3 as wide; bracts to 15 mm (1/2) long & as wide; leaves and bracts blunt, 10-25 cm (4-10) tall, corolla lobes large, ne UT, nw CO, nearby WY.