Penstemon whippleanus A. Gray
Family: Plantaginaceae
Whipple's penstemon,  more...
Penstemon whippleanus image
Patrick Alexander  
Penstemon whippleanus is an upper elevation beardtongue that prefers moist mixed conifer forest. The corolla is dark purple. The leaves are connate-perfoliate. There are many flowers per node.
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Perennial, 20-60 cm tall; stems several, erect or ascending; herbage glabrous below, becoming glandular- puberulent above; caudex woody, branched. Leaves: Basal and cauline, opposite, the basal blades lanceolate, ovate, or elliptic, mostly 4-9 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, the cauline blades narrowly lanceolate to oblanceolate, mostly 2.5-6 cm long, 3-15 mm wide, glabrous, margins entire or dentate; basal blades long-petiolate, cauline blades sessile and cordate-clasping. Flowers: Inflorescence narrow, secund, with few to several whorls of cymes, these 2-5 flowered; calyx 2-4 mm long, the lobes ovate to obovate, the apex acute to acuminate, margins usually membranous; corolla pale blue, pale or deep blue-violet, white, or sometimes pink-lavender, 15- 28 mm long, broadly expanded, strongly bilabiate, the upper lips projecting to spreading, the lower lips spreading to reflexed, white-bearded, the throat marked with purplish guidelines; staminode glabrous; flowers June-September. Fruits: Capsule, 6-9 mm long, glandular-puberulent at the apex; seeds 1-1.5 mm long. Ecology: Meadows, open slopes, subalpine, sometimes alpine; 2000- 3700 m (6500-12000 ft); Apache, Coconino, and Mohave counties; western to southwestern U.S. Notes: Penstemon oliganthus (Apache beardtongue) is similar to P. whippleanus, but is distinguished by entire leaf margins; a few-flowered inflorescence, calyx 4-6 mm long, corolla 1.5-2.5 cm long, expanded gradually, pale blue or purple, the tube often lighter, lower lip densely bearded; and a staminode with a dense beard for most of its length. It occurs in mountain meadows in Apache, Navajo, Coconino, and Greenlee counties. Penstemon rydbergii (Rydberg-s penstemon) has stems 1 to several, arising from a branched woody caudex; herbage is glabrous to puberulent, sometimes with lines of hairs on the stem originating from the leaf bases; basal and lower cauline blades are oblanceolate, mostly 4-7 cm long, petiolate, the upper cauline blades lanceolate, smaller, and sessile; inflorescence is of 2-7 densely flowered whorls of cymes, glabrous to puberulent, not glandular; corolla is 1-1.6 (2) cm long, blue-violet to blue-purple, the lobes subequal, the lower lip white- to yellow-bearded; staminode bearded with yellow hairs at the apex. In Arizona, it is known from moist meadows of the Kaibab Plateau at 2600-2700 m (8500-9000 ft). Penstemon whippleanus requires regular watering but makes an attractive ornamental for the native rock garden. It attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies, and is a host plant for the variable checkerspot butterfly. Editor: Springer et al. 2008
Penstemon whippleanus image
Patrick Alexander  
Penstemon whippleanus image
Patrick Alexander  
Penstemon whippleanus image
Penstemon whippleanus image
Penstemon whippleanus image
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Penstemon whippleanus image