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

Penstemon pruinosus Douglas ex Lindl.
Chelan penstemon (Chelan beardtongue)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24875)

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Distribution of Penstemon pruinosus
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a stout, branched, woody stem-base; stems several, clustered, ascending to erect, 10-40 cm tall, minutely sticky-hairy to merely short-hairy to smooth below, glandular-hairy in the inflorescence.
Opposite, usually distinctly saw-toothed, minutely sticky-hairy, sometimes greyish beneath, or rarely essentially smooth; basal leaves egg-shaped to lanceolate, 5-10 (15) cm long, 0.5-2 (3) cm wide, stalked, the stalks about as long as the blades; stem leaves well developed, 1.5-6 cm long, triangular-egg-shaped to lanceolate, mostly unstalked.
Inflorescence a leafy-bracted, rather narrow, terminal cluster of several compact whorls of stalked flowers; corollas deep blue, tubular, 1-1.6 cm long, 2-lipped, the lower lip larger than the upper, glandular-hairy on the outside, hairy inside at the throat; calyces 3-6 mm long, somewhat glandular-hairy, 5-lobed, the lobes nearly distinct, lanceolate to narrowly egg-shaped, slightly papery-margined, pointy-tipped; fertile stamens 4, the anthers smooth; sterile stamen bearded toward the scarcely expanded tip.
Capsules, 5-7 mm long, smooth or thinly short glandular-hairy; seeds numerous, about 1 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry sagebrush hillsides, grassy slopes, and open forests in the steppe and montane zones; infrequent in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; S to N WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Penstemon pruinosus

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) 445 678 1172
Slope Gradient (%) 1 39 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
140 214 270
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 4
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: IDF(1), PP(6)


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