Penstemon mensarum

(Mesa Penstemon)

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Penstemon mensarum, West of McClure Pass on FR 265, Gunnison Co. 2626

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Penstemon mensarum, West of McClure Pass on FR 265, Gunnison Co. 2628

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Penstemon mensarum, West of McClure Pass on FR 265, Gunnison Co. 2639

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Penstemon mensarum, West of McClure Pass on FR 265, Gunnison Co. 2641

Scientific Name Penstemon mensarum USDA PLANTS Symbol PEME2
Common Name Mesa Penstemon, Tiger Beardtongue ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 33725
Family Plantaginaceae (Plantain) formerly Scrophulariaceae SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Foothills to montane (7400 to 10200 ft). Meadows and forests in Grand Mesa area of west-central Colorado, endemic to the area.
Plant: Erect, stout unbranched perennial 16 to 20 inches tall with smooth stems becoming glandular at the inflorescence.
Leaves: Basal leaves elliptic, oblong or lanceolate-elliptic, smooth and 2-3/8 to almost 8 inches long and less than 5/8-inch wide; few oblanceolate stem leaves.
Inflorescence: Elongated, glandular inflorescence with a few to several separated whorls of flowers standing straight out or upward from stem, mostly along one side; each blossom with a short (less than 1/5-inch long), glandular-hairy calyx and 5-lobed corolla less than 3/4-inch long, dark blue to bluish-purple and glandular-hairy externally, hairless internally; staminode (unfertile stamen in center of blossom) with long yellow hairs most of its length; anthers have short stiff hairs.
Bloom Period: June to July.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and American Penstemon Society.
BONAP Distribution Map
Colorado Status:
Native
Endemic

© Tom Lebsack 2022

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County