Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 25: 281. 1898. (as Pentstemon)
Herbs. Stems decumbent, ascending, or erect, 20–70(–120) cm, glabrous or retrorsely hairy, sometimes only in lines, not glaucous. Leaves basal and cauline, not leathery, glabrous; basal and proximal cauline (25–)35–70(–150) × (5–)10–15(–22) mm, blade oblanceolate to elliptic, base tapered, margins entire, apex obtuse to acute, rarely mucronate; cauline 3–6 pairs, sessile or proximals short-petiolate, 25–70(–110) × 3–24 mm, blade lanceolate to elliptic or oblong, base tapered to clasping, margins entire, apex obtuse to acute. Thyrses interrupted, cylindric, 3–10(–18) cm, axis retrorsely hairy or puberulent, sometimes glabrous, verticillasters (1 or)2–7, cymes (3–)5–11-flowered, 2 per node; proximal bracts lanceolate, (4–)11–52(–70) × (1–)2–18 mm, margins entire or erose to lacerate; peduncles and pedicels erect, glabrous, retrorsely hairy, or puberulent. Flowers: calyx lobes oblong to ovate or obovate, 3–8 × 1.2–3.5 mm, apex acute to acuminate or short- to long-caudate, glabrous or puberulent; corolla violet to blue or purple, without nectar guides, funnelform, 10–20 mm, glabrous externally, sparsely white- or yellowish villous internally abaxially, tube 3–4 mm, throat gradually inflated, 3–4.5 mm diam., 2-ridged abaxially; stamens: longer pair reaching orifice or exserted, pollen sacs opposite, navicular, 0.5–1.1 mm, dehiscing completely, connective splitting, sides glabrous, sutures smooth or ± papillate; staminode 6–7 mm, reaching orifice, 0.2–0.4 mm diam., tip straight, distal 1.5–2 mm moderately to densely pilose, hairs golden yellow, to 1 mm; style 8–10 mm. Capsules 4–5 × 3–4 mm, glabrous.
Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., N.Mex., Nev., Oreg., Utah, Wash., Wyo.
Varieties 3 (3 in the flora).
As treated here, Penstemon rydbergii includes three partially sympatric varieties. D. D. Keck (1945) treated the same taxa as four species and two subspecies (P. hesperius, P. oreocharis, P. rydbergii subsp. aggregatus, P. rydbergii subsp. rydbergii, and P. vaseyanus).
|1||Calyx lobe margins lacerate, rarely erose, broadly scarious, apices acuminate or short- to long-caudate; proximal bract margins erose to lacerate proximally, sometimes entire; thyrse axes retrorsely hairy or puberulent.||Penstemon rydbergii var. rydbergii|
|1||Calyx lobe margins erose, sometimes lacerate, narrowly to broadly scarious, apices acute, acuminate, or short-caudate; proximal bract margins entire; thyrse axes glabrous or retrorsely hairy.||> 2|
|2||Stems ± retrorsely hairy; thyrse axes glabrous or retrorsely hairy; corollas (10–)13–20 mm; pollen sacs (0.6–)0.8–1.1 mm.||Penstemon rydbergii var. aggregatus|
|2||Stems glabrous, rarely ± retrorsely hairy; thyrse axes glabrous, rarely ± retrorsely hairy; corollas 10–14 mm; pollen sacs 0.5–0.7(–0.8) mm.||Penstemon rydbergii var. oreocharis|