Fuzzy-tongued Penstemon
Penstemon eriantherus
Family: Scrophulariaceae, Figwort
Genus: Penstemon

General: perennial, 10-40 cm tall, with one to several stems
arising from a usually branched, largely underground root
crown. Plant evidently glandular soft- to stiff-hairy among
the flowers, otherwise finely gray-short-hairy to long-hairy.
Leaves: basal and opposite, entire or more or less
toothed, oblong to linear, the basal ones often poorly
developed, up to 13 cm long and 2 cm wide.
Flowers: several in whorls from upper leaf axils. Calyx
elongate, 7-13 mm long, the 5 segments lanceolate or
narrower. Corolla glandular-hairy externally, pale lavender to
deep blue-purple, 2-4 cm long, strongly inflated farther out,
mostly 6-14 mm wide at the mouth, the lower lip longer
than the upper. Palate strongly bearded. Pollen sacs
hairless except for the finely bristle-toothed sutures, 1.1-
1.8 mm long, opening the whole way, becoming opposite.
Staminode more or less protruding from the opening of the
corolla, slightly expanded toward the tip, prominently
long-bearded for most of its length.
Flowering time: May-July.
capsules, glandular-short-hairy near the tip, 7-12
mm long, seeds 2-3 mm long.


Dry, open places in the valleys and foothills, sometimes up
to moderate elevations in the mountains, in most parts of
MT. Also from B.C. to WA, OR, CO, ND and NE.
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var. eriantherus Pursh:

Pollen sacs relatively broad, becoming opposite, 0.9-1.4 times as long as wide when fully mature. Corollas lavender, pale lilac, or pale to medium purple-violet, tending to be ascending and the whorls not appearing to be well separated. Great Plains and adjacent foothills and intermontane valleys, extending w. through n.w. MT, WA and s.e. B.C.

var. redactus Pennell & Keck:
Pollen sacs mostly 1.4-2.0 times as long as wide when fully mature, scarcely to evidently opposite. Plants typically small, 10-20 cm tall, and narrow-leaved. Range s.w. MT to ID and OR.

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