Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_speciosus
ClassificationPenstemon Habroanthus Glabri
GeneralRoyal Penstemon [syn: P. speciosus subsp. kennedyi] One of our most widespread and variable species, P. speciosus deserves the common name “showy”. Different authors have sometimes assigned several varietal names to this short-lived species because of the diversity in its characteristics. However, these variations tend to occur haphazardly or randomly and the segregation into varieties has been dropped for lack of clear-cut distinctions. Blooms: May into July.
AntherReaching the edge, the sacs opening at the outer 2/3 of their length, distinctly twisted into S-shapes, spreading almost opposite, smooth externally, very finely toothed on the openings.
StaminodeSmooth or sparsely bearded, included with the corolla and slightly expanded at the tip.
LeavesBasal leaves 5-15 cm (2-6”) long, entire, smooth or very finely fuzzy, narrow to elliptic, on distinct stems; cauline leaves smaller, linear to lanceolate, stemless, mostly smooth, flat or channeled (folded).
Stems0.5-9 dm (2-36”) tall, usually a few stems in a clump, upright or decumbent at the base, glabrous or minutely fuzzy.
InflorescenseUsually long and narrow, of 4-12 closely spaced verticillasters, usually somewhat one-sided, smooth or sometimes short-fuzzy.
Corolla25-38 mm (1-1 /2”) long, bright blue to purplish to violet at the base of the tube, light-colored or white inside, 2 ridged on the palate, more or less deeply incised on the sides forming the two lips, abruptly flaring from the tube to a broad throat, somewhat bellied on the floor, smooth within and mostly smooth to rarely glandular without.
Flower Color
Calyx4-10 mm (to 3/8”) long, the sepals lanceolate to ovate, tapered to short, sharp point, broadly thinned and ragged on the edges.
HabitatSagebrush prairies to ponderosa pine forest to subalpine, 6000' to 9500'.
RangeSagebrush prairies to ponderosa pine forest to subalpine. Central and e WA to sw ID, the Siskiyous of sw OR, ne UT and higher mountain ranges of CA south to the San Gabriel Mts, CA.