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

Penstemon ovatus Douglas ex Hook.
broad-leaved penstemon (eggleaf beardtongue)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2760)

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Distribution of Penstemon ovatus
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a woody stem-base; stems several, clustered, ascending to erect, 30-100 cm tall, usually smooth below, spreading-coarse-hairy in the inflorescence.
Opposite, distinctly saw-toothed, bright green, spreading-hairy especially along the midrib beneath or nearly smooth; basal leaves egg-shaped to broadly lanceolate, 6-16 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, stalked, the stalks about as long as the blades; stem leaves well developed, almost as long as the basal leaves, more triangular egg-shaped above, unstalked, clasping-based.
Inflorescence a leafy-bracted, rather open, terminal cluster of several whorls of stalked flowers; corollas deep blue, tubular, 1.5-2.2 cm long, 2-lipped, the lower lip longer than the upper lip, glandular-hairy on the outside, hairy inside at the throat; calyces 3-5 mm long, somewhat glandular-hairy, 5-lobed, the lobes nearly distinct, lanceolate to narrowly egg-shaped, slightly papery-margined if at all, pointy-tipped; fertile stamens 4, the anthers smooth except for the often bristle-toothed sutures; sterile stamen bearded toward the scarcely expanded, curved tip.
Capsules, 4-6 mm long; seeds numerous, 1-1.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic open forests, rocky outcrops and mossy ledges in the lowland and montane zones; infrequent on S Vancouver Island and the Lower Fraser Valley; S to N OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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

Additional Photo Sources

General References