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     (Photo ID #3945)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Penstemon lyallii
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.

USDA Species Characteristics

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


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)
1684 1290 2013
Slope Gradient (%)
56 0 78

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

190 10 255
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 2
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia