Penstemon (procerus to whippleanus)

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Scientific Name Penstemon procerus var.procerus USDA PLANTS Symbol
PEPRP
Common Name Clustered Penstemon, Little Penstemon ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
33746
Family Plantaginaceae (Plantain) formerly Scrophulariaceae SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Montane to alpine (7000 to 12000 ft). Moist meadows, open areas especially at higher elevations.
Plant: Erect perennial 2 to 16 inches tall (shorter at higher elevations).
Leaves: Basal leaves oblanceolate to elliptic or lanceolate, up to 4 inches long and petiolate; stem leaves much smaller and stalkless; glabrous (smooth, not hairy).
Inflorescence: Purplish-blue flowers in 1 to 3 dense clusters in whorl-like verticillasters separated by open breaks; each 5-lobed flower less than 1/2-inch long, lower lip with internal hairs near tip, white or yellow bearded staminode.
Bloom Period: June to August.
References: "The Alpine Flora of the Rocky Mountains" by Richard W. Scott, "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and www.pnwflowers.com.
Note: Rarely found in light lavender or pink as in one of the photos below.
BONAP Distribution Map
Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Penstemon rydbergii USDA PLANTS Symbol
PERY
Common Name Rydberg's Penstemon, Meadow Beardtongue ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
33990
Family Plantaginaceae (Plantain) formerly Scrophulariaceae SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Montane and alpine (7500 to 12000 ft). Sunny mountain slopes, alpine meadows, forest openings and streamsides.
Plant: Erect perennial with single or a clump of multiple leafy, usually smooth, stems up to 2 feet tall; stems may be decumbent at base.
Leaves: Basal leaves oblanceolate and petiolate, up to 2-3/4 inches; stem leaves lanceolate, sessile, opposite and shorter; all are usually smooth with entire margins;
Inflorescence: Clusters (2 to 7) atop and along stem of blue to purple flowers pointing radially all directions from the stem; corolla smooth on outside, lower lobes with bearded; staminode with a dense tuft of golden hairs at tip; smooth black anthers.
Bloom Period: June to August.
References: "The Alpine Flora of the Rocky Mountains" by Richard W. Scott, "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and www.americansouthwest.net.
BONAP Distribution Map
Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Penstemon strictus USDA PLANTS Symbol
PEST2
Common Name Rocky Mountain Penstemon ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
33772
Family Plantaginaceae (Plantain) formerly Scrophulariaceae SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Foothills to subalpine (5500 to 11000 ft). Meadows, woodlands openings.
Plant: Erect, stout unbranched perennial 14 to 28 inches tall, multiple stems; usually in colonies.
Leaves: Basal leaves narrowly oblanceolate up to 5-1/2 inches long; stem leaves linear, tending to erect and shorter; leaves often folded.
Inflorescence: Flowers in a 4 to 10 small clusters along stem, tending to be on one side; each 5-lobed flower about 1 inch long, blue/purple, more blue along lobe edges; otherwise hairless blossoms have hairy stamens (anthers); staminode (unfertile stamen in center of blossom) has no hairs.
Bloom Period: June to August.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and www.americansouthwest.net.
BONAP Distribution Map
Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Penstemon virgatus var. asa-grayi (Penstemon unilateralis) USDA PLANTS Symbol
PEVIA
Common Name Upland Blue Beardtongue, Beardless Sidebells Penstemon ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
538522
Family Plantaginaceae (Plantain) formerly Scrophulariaceae SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains to montane (4400 to 10000 ft). Grasslands, meadows, rocky hillsides and moist locations in coniferous forests.
Plant: Erect unbranched perennial 1 to 2+ feet tall, multiple stems, usually in colonies.
Leaves: Basal leaves narrowly to widely oblanceolate 3/4 to 4 inches long; stem leaves linear to lanceolate; both smooth with entire margins.
Inflorescence: Hairless flowers in a thryse, tending to be on one side of the stem; each 5-lobed flower about 1 inch long, pale purple, sepals purplish with smooth edges; stamens and anthers hairless, staminode (unfertile stamen in center) hairless or with small hairs at tip.
Bloom Period: June to August.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and www.americansouthwest.net.
BONAP Distribution Map
Colorado Status:
Native
Scientific Name Penstemon whippleanus USDA PLANTS Symbol
PEWH
Common Name Dusky Beardtongue, Whipple's Penstemon ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
33793
Family Plantaginaceae (Plantain) formerly Scrophulariaceae SEINet
Reference
Click Here
Description Life zones and habitat: Montane and alpine (8000 to 13,500 ft). Open, dry areas such as clearings, meadows, talus slopes, etc.
Plant: Erect perennial with multiple, leafy stems up to 2 feet tall.
Leaves: Basal leaves lanceolate to ovate 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches long, on petioles and entire to dentate margins; stem leave sessile, lanceolate to oblanceolate, smooth margins, and arranged in opposite pairs, 1 to 2-1/2+ inches long.
Inflorescence: Dark purple (usually) blossoms in 2 to 5 one-side clusters atop and along stem; blossoms pointing slightly downward; also occurs in red-violet, off-white, lilac and bi-colored lilac and white; corolla glandular-hairy on outside, lower lobes with long hairs; staminode with a tuft of yellow hairs at tip; blue anthers smooth.
Bloom Period: June to September.
References: "The Alpine Flora of the Rocky Mountains" by Richard W. Scott, "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and www.americansouthwest.net.
Notes: To view a white version of P. whippleanus click here.
BONAP Distribution Map
Colorado Status:
Native

Click here for white and red Penstemons.


© Tom Lebsack 2019