Perennial herb from a branching woody stem-base; stems several, clustered, ascending to erect, 10-40 cm tall, usually smooth below, glandular-hairy in the inflorescence.
Opposite, irregularly and obscurely saw-toothed or entire, bright green, thick and firm, mostly smooth; basal leaves lanceolate to oval or spoon-shaped, 4-10 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide, stalked; stem leaves well developed, lance-oblong, 2-5 cm long, unstalked.
Inflorescence a leafy-bracted, rather narrow, terminal cluster of 4 to 8 whorls of stalked flowers; corollas blue-violet to light blue, tubular, 1.2-2 cm long, hairy on the outside, hairy inside at the throat, 2-lipped, the lower lip a bit longer than the upper; calyces 3-6 mm long, somewhat glandular-hairy, 5-lobed, the lobes nearly distinct, broadly lanceolate to egg-shaped, slightly papery-margined, pointy-tipped; fertile stamens 4, the anthers smooth except for the often bristle-toothed sutures; sterile stamen golden-bearded for less than half its length toward the scarcely expanded tip.
Capsules, 5-7 mm long; seeds numerous, 0.8-1.5 mm long.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Present from Summer to Fall
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|AT(14), BWBS(1), ESSF(1), PP(1)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Really a lovely little penstemon with lavender pink flowers overlain with an iridescent blue. Some forms can be much more blue though these we have not yet seen in cultivation. Plum stained foliage. Unusual and easy addition to front of border in full sun and in well-drained soils. Remember not to cut back until spring - the foliage protects it through the winter. Penstemons are great for late summer colour so consider one, or a few, for your garden.
Note author: Gary Lewis, Phoenix Perennials