E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Penstemon lyallii (A. Gray) A. Gray
Lyall's penstemon (Lyall's beardtongue)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #3945)

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Distribution of Penstemon lyallii
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a stout taproot surmounted by a branched, sometimes woody stem-base; stems usually several, clumped, ascending to erect, 30-80 cm tall, glandular-hairy in the inflorescence, smooth or minutely hairy in lines below.
Opposite, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, toothed to nearly entire, unstalked or nearly so, 3-13 cm long, smooth or grey-short-hairy; lowermost leaves reduced.
Inflorescence a terminal panicle of several groups of 2 to several stalked flowers, the stalks glandular-hairy; corollas tubular, 3-4.5 cm long, lavender to pale purple, strongly 2-lipped, smooth on the outside, long-woolly within along the ridges of the lower lip, which is not much longer than the upper; calyces 7-15 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, long-tapering to a sharp tip, entire, glandular-hairy; fertile stamens 4, the anthers densely long-woolly; sterile stamen usually shorter than the fertile stamens, smooth.
Capsules, 10-14 mm long; seeds numerous, angled, 1-2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic rocky slopes, gravel bars and shale slides in the montane zone; infrequent in extreme SE BC; E to SW AB and S to N MT and N ID.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Penstemon lyallii

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 1290 1684 2013
Slope Gradient (%) 0 56 78
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 190 255
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 2
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(2), ESSF(2), MS(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References