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

Penstemon serrulatus Menzies ex Sm.
coast penstemon (serrulate penstemon)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #30010)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Penstemon serrulatus
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from a branching, woody stem-base; stems several to many, tufted, ascending to erect, 20-70 cm tall, somewhat woody at the base, smooth below, usually minutely hairy above especially in the inflorescence, but not glandular.
Opposite, unstalked or short-stalked on vigorous shoots, broadly lanceolate to elliptic or oblong-egg-shaped, 2-9 cm long, saw-toothed to jagged-toothed or sometimes nearly entire, often wavy-edged, essentially smooth; upper leaves sometimes clasping-based.
Inflorescence terminal, of 1 to 5 whorled clusters of stalked flowers, the lower whorls often open, the upper compact; corollas deep blue to purple, tubular, 1.5-2.5 cm long, smooth inside and out or sometimes hairy within at base of lower lip, 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-lobed, the lower lip 3-lobed, the lobes smooth; calyces 5-9 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes fringed with hairs and sometimes irregularly cleft; fertile stamens 4, the anthers smooth except for a hairy fringe along the sutures; sterile stamen yellow-bearded on the upper half.
Capsules, 5-8 mm long, usually slightly exceeding the appressed calyx lobes; seeds numerous, 1-1.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Streambanks and moist gullies and rocky slopes in the lowland to lower subalpine zones; frequent in W BC south of 56degreeN, except absent from the Queen Charlotte Islands, rare E of Coast-Cascade Mountains; S to OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Penstemon serrulatus

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) 213 1011 2250
Slope Gradient (%) 0 40 93
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
80 169 246
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 5
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(1), CWH(5), ESSF(5), ICH(5), IDF(2), MH(1), MS(1)


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