Penstemon cusickii

A. Gray

Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 16: 106. 1880. (as Pentstemon)

Common names: Cusick’s beardtongue
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 17. Treatment on page 232. Mentioned on page 230.

Herbs or subshrubs. Stems ascending to erect, 15–45 cm, retrorsely hairy, hairs pointed, not glaucous. Leaves cauline, opposite or subalternate, retrorsely hairy, hairs pointed, not glaucous; cauline 4–8 pairs, short-petiolate or sessile, 16–70 × 1–8(–14) mm, blade lanceolate to linear, base tapered, margins entire, apex obtuse to acute. Thyrses interrupted, cylindric, 4–15 cm, axis puberulent or retrorsely hairy, verticillasters 3–10, cymes 1–5(–7)-flowered, 2 per node; proximal bracts lanceolate to linear, 7–50 × 1–6 mm; peduncles and pedicels ascending to erect, puberulent or retrorsely hairy. Flowers: calyx lobes ovate, 3–5.5 × 1.4–2.3 mm, glabrous or sparsely puberulent; corolla blue to violet or purple, without nectar guides, ampliate, 16–21 mm, glabrous externally, glabrous internally, tube 4–5 mm, throat gradually inflated, 5–6 mm diam., slightly 2-ridged abaxially; stamens included, filaments glabrous, pollen sacs parallel, 1–1.5(–1.8) mm, distal 1/2–2/3 indehiscent, sides hispidulous, hairs white, to 0.1 mm near filament attachment, sutures denticulate, teeth to 0.1 mm; staminode 10–12 mm, reaching orifice or barely exserted, 0.5–0.7 mm diam., glabrous; style 11–13 mm. Capsules 6–7 × 4.5–6 mm. 2n = 16.

Phenology: Flowering May–Jul.
Habitat: Rocky, often basaltic, sagebrush shrublands.
Elevation: 600–1500 m.


Penstemon cusickii is known from west-central and southwestern Idaho (Ada, Blaine, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, and Washington counties) and eastern Oregon (Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Union, and Wheeler counties).

Selected References


Lower Taxa