Penstemon pinifolius is found in upper elevation Ponderosa Pine forests, growing either among the needles or on top of rocks in the area. It also grows on isolated rocky crags among pinon and juniper. Penstemon pinifolius has leaves that are dark green and linear on stems that are rarely more than 8-12 inches tall. The corollas are red. The low, more sprawling habit of Penstemon pinifolius is a bit different than the usual upright growth habit of common Penstemons in this area.
Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Shrubby perennials, stems woody below. Leaves: Opposite, filiform, to 1 mm wide, crowded, the upper ones usually sessile, the lower ones petioled. Flowers: Large, scarlet to carmine, corollas strongly bilabiate, the upper lip 2-lobed, the lower lip 3-cleft, calyx 5-parted, stamens 4, these in pairs, filaments arching, glabrous, anthers flattened, dehiscent throughout, calyces and petioles obviously glandular-pubescent, flowers paniculate. Fruits: Septicidal capsules. Seeds numerous, angeled. Ecology: Found above 5,000 ft (1524 m); flowering in summer. Distribution: Arizona, New Mexico; Mexico. Notes: This species of Penstemon is easy to identify due to its filiform leaves. Ethnobotany: There is no specific use recorded for the species, but the genus has many uses. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher 2011 Etymology: Penstemon comes from the Latin penna, "feather," and seta, "a bristle," thus literally, "feather-bristled," because some species have plumose or feathery bristles, while pinifolius likely means having pine-like or needle-like leaves.