Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_smallii
ClassificationPenstemon Penstemon Penstemon Penstemon
GeneralSmall’s Penstemon (John Small, 1869-1938, botanist). Blooms: May to June.
AntherWidely spreading, opening moderately, smooth.
StaminodeNot exserted, with slight orange beard most of length, long tuft at tip.
LeavesUpper leaves 1.2 dm (4 ¼”) & ½ as wide, leaves and bracts at right angles to stem, almost triangular shape; basal rosette leaves 2 dm (up to 8”) long & ½ as wide; coarsely-toothed, wrinkled, yellow-green, sometimes with red edges; leaf-like bracts large, to 7.5 cm (3”) long.
Stems4-6 dm (16-24”) sometimes to 3’ tall, erect stems and inflorescence very fuzzy, bushy and leafy.
InflorescenseOpen panicles, densely fuzzy, cyme long, 3-8 cm (1 ¼-3”) long, 2-9 flowered.
Corolla20-35 mm (3/4-1 ¼”) long, narrow, pale red-purple to orchid, showy in bloom, extended pale-bearded, lower lip.
Flower Color
Calyx5-7 mm (1/4”) long, sepals with sharp tips.
HabitatRocky mountain slopes and river bluffs.
RangeEastern TN, n SC & NC.