Penstemon speciosus

Douglas ex Lindley

Edwards’s Bot. Reg. 15: plate 1270. 1829. (as Pentstemon speciosum)

Common names: Royal or showy beardtongue
Synonyms: Penstemon speciosus subsp. kennedyi (A. Nelson) D. D. Keck
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 17. Treatment on page 179. Mentioned on page 157, 159, 161, 168, 180, 251.

Stems decumbent to ascending or erect, 7–65(–90) cm, glabrous or retrorsely hairy to pubescent, not glaucous. Leaves basal and cauline, basal sometimes absent, ± leathery or not, glabrous or retrorsely hairy, not glaucous; basal and proximal cauline (25–)30–90(–140) × (3–)6–20(–35) mm, blade oblanceolate to elliptic or lanceolate, base tapered, margins entire, apex obtuse to acute; cauline 3–8 pairs, short-petiolate or sessile, 35–70(–150) × 3–20(–30) mm, blade oblanceolate to elliptic, lanceolate, or linear, base tapered to clasping, apex obtuse to acute. Thyrses continuous, secund or cylindric, (1–)3–35 cm, axis glabrous or puberulent, rarely glandular or glandular-pubescent, verticillasters (2–)4–14, cymes 1–4-flowered, 2 per node; proximal bracts lanceolate, rarely ovate or linear, (15–)20–80 × (1–)2–23 mm; peduncles and pedicels ascending to erect, glabrous or retrorsely hairy, rarely glandular-pubescent, peduncles to 20 mm, pedicels 1–8 mm. Flowers: calyx lobes ovate to lanceolate, rarely obovate, (4–)6–11(–13.5) × 2–4 mm, margins erose, apex acute to acuminate or cuspidate, glabrous or ± glandular proximally; corolla blue to violet, with reddish purple nectar guides, ventricose, 25–35 mm, glabrous externally, glabrous, rarely sparsely white-pilose, internally abaxially, tube 8–13 mm, throat gradually inflated, slightly constricted at orifice, 7–10(–13) mm diam., 2-ridged abaxially; stamens: longer pair reaching orifice, pollen sacs divergent, sigmoid, (1.8–)2–3 mm, dehiscing incompletely, proximal 1/3 indehiscent, connective not splitting, sides glabrous or sparsely hispidulous, hairs tan, to 0.3 mm, sutures papillate or denticulate, teeth to 0.1 mm; staminode 14–18 mm, included, 0.6–1 mm diam., tip straight to recurved, glabrous or distal 1–7 mm sparsely pilose, hairs yellow to yellowish orange, to 0.8 mm; style 18–23 mm. Capsules 10–16 × 6–8 mm. 2n = 16.

Phenology: Flowering May–Aug(–Sep).
Habitat: Sagebrush shrublands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, clearings in pine forests.
Elevation: 300–3300 m.


Calif., Idaho, Nev., Oreg., Utah, Wash.


Penstemon speciosus is widespread and highly polymorphic. F. S. Crosswhite (1967b) examined morphologic variation and concluded it was clinal.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Penstemon speciosus"
Craig C. Freeman +
Douglas ex Lindley +
Penstemon +
Royal or showy beardtongue +
Calif. +, Idaho +, Nev. +, Oreg. +, Utah +  and Wash. +
300–3300 m. +
Sagebrush shrublands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, clearings in pine forests. +
Flowering May–Aug(–Sep). +
Edwards’s Bot. Reg. +
Illustrated +  and Endemic +
Penstemon speciosus subsp. kennedyi +
Penstemon speciosus +
Penstemon sect. Glabri +
species +