Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Herbaceous mat-forming perennials, to 15 cm tall, stems and herbage bluish-green. Leaves: Opposite, obovate to spatulate, 5-20 mm long, margins entire, blades petioled or becoming more or less sessile distally, leaves crowded. Flowers: Violet to blue, with wide, white throats, the corollas 2-lipped, the upper lip with 2 lobes and the lower lip with 3 lobes, corollas 10-18 mm long, glandular outside, floor pale yellow-hairy, calyx with lanceolate lobes 4-7.5 mm long, surfaces with some glandular hairs, anther sacs 2, to 1 mm long, dehiscing the full length, the valves barely spreading, staminodes densely orange- to golden-yellow-hairy, stamens 4, filament bases glabrous, attached to the corolla at different levels, nectaries 2, at bases of upper stamens, stigmas unlobed, flowers borne in small, dense spikes at stem tips, inflorescences leafy and more or less glandular-hairy. Fruits: Septicidal capsules, sometimes also loculicidal at the tips. Seeds generally many, irregularly angled. Ecology: Found on light or white calcareous soils in pi-on-juniper woodland communities, from 4,000-7,000 ft (1219-2134 m); flowering June-August. Distribution: Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah. Notes: This purple penstemon has crowded leaves and inflorescences, the leaves are roughly ovate or spatulate (spoon-shaped) and is bluish-green. Ethnobotany: Specific uses for this species are unknown, but other species in the genus have uses; infusion of plants used as a wash for sore eyes, kidney trouble, sore back, taken and poultice of pounded leaves applied to rattlesnake bites, infusion of root taken for colds, coughs, consumption and whooping cough, chewed root inserted into the tooth cavity for pain, and plant used to make tea, also plant browsed by animals. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher2012 Etymology: Penstemon comes from the Greek pente, "five," and stemon, "stamen," for the fifth stamen, referring to the staminode, or just an allusion to the fact that it has five stamens, and thompsoniae is named after Ellen Louella Powell Thompson (1843-1911), called "Nellie."