Species Identification

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

AttributeThe current selection is Penstemon_triphyllus
ClassificationPenstemon Saccanthera Saccanthera Serrulati
GeneralWhorled Penstemon. The name triphyllus alludes to the obvious feature of the species—the 3- to 4-whorled leaves along the middle stems. It is closely related to P. diphyllus with serrate leaves and saccate anthers, but P. diphyllus has (2) opposite leaves. Blooming: May to July.
Antherabout 1 mm long and as broad, the sacs permanently horseshoe-shaped, opening about 1/3 their length at the inner ends across the connective, smooth on the valves and finely toothed along the openings.
StaminodeWell–bearded with yellow hairs and protruding from the corolla throat.
Leaves2.5-5 cm (1-2”) long and all on blooming stems with no basal rosette, mostly 3- to 4- whorled, but a few opposite or scattered, glabrous or finely fuzzy and bluish, linear to lanceolate, irregularly toothed or cleft, the lower leaves reduced.
Stems45 cm (18”) or taller, numerous, slender and brittle, growing in a bushy clump.
InflorescenseAn open, scattered mixed raceme-panicle, glandular.
Corolla1.5-2 cm (1/2-3/4”) long blue-lavender to lilac with prominent guide lines, glandular outside, but smooth within, a gradually spreading tube, usually with a light beard on the palate.
Flower Color
Calyx4-6 mm (to ¼”) long, sepals often quite unequal in size, entire on the margins, lanceolate to ovate and glandular.
HabitatBasalt cliffs and rocky talus slopes at lower elevations.
RangeHell’s Canyon and the lower Snake River Canyon in Washington, the lower tributaries of this reach of the Snake River and a short stretch of the Columbia River below the Snake confluence.