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

Penstemon nitidus Douglas ex Benth.
Wax-leaved Beardtongue
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ian Gardiner  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24476)

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Distribution of Penstemon nitidus
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Penstemon nitidus var. nitidus

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a short, branched, underground stem-base, smooth throughout; stems usually several, clumped, ascending to erect, 10-30 cm tall, stout.
Thick and firm, glaucous, entire; basal leaves stalked, tufted, broadly lanceolate, 3-10 cm long; stem leaves opposite, lanceolate to egg-shaped, unstalked, shorter than basal leaves.
Inflorescence a terminal bracted cluster, compact and spike-like or interrupted below, of several dense whorls of stalked flowers, the bracts large, leaflike, abruptly long-pointed; corollas tubular, 1.3-1.8 cm long, bright blue, rarely pinkish or purplish, 2-lipped, smooth on the outside and the inside; calyces 3-6 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, entire; fertile stamens 4, the anthers smooth; sterile stamen shortly exserted, prominently yellow-bearded for 2-4 mm toward its expanded tip.
Capsules, 9-12 mm long; seeds about 3 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry hillsides, grasslands and roadside banks in the montane zone; rare in extreme SE BC, known only from Crowsnest Pass; E to SK and S to ND and CO.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References