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Penstemon angustifolius

Penstemon angustifolius

Penstemon angustifolius

Penstemon angustifolius

 

 

 

 

Penstemon angustifolius (Narrow-leaf Penstemon, Narrow-leaf Beardtongue)
Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)

Semi-desert. Openings, shrublands. Spring, summer.
Above: Near Hovenweep National Monument, Utah, May 17, 2015.
Left: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, May 3, 2010.

Penstemon angustifolius grows from four to twenty inches tall.  The plants shown on this page may even exceed twenty inches as they respond to a winter of very slow snow melt which kept the upper layers of soil in perfect moisture for abundant wildflower growth. 

Basal leaves of Penstemon angustifolius are absent or few and stem leaves are narrow and without hairs.  Leaves are a distinctive light green with a prominent mid-vein.

It is very common for the growing tips of many Penstemons to arch and gradually grow erect as the flower stem elongates; this arching is pronounced in Penstemon angustifolius.

As the map below indicates, Penstemon angustifolius occurs in all counties touching on the Four Corners, but it is probable that in the very southwest corner of Colorado the plant has just recently arrived  --  the result of roadside seeding with this plant in Utah.

Penstemon angustifolius was named by Frederick Pursh in 1814 from a specimen collected by Bradbury near the Minataree Village.  "Angustifolius" means "narrow leaves".

Penstemon angustifolius

Penstemon angustifolius

Penstemon angustifolius

Penstemon angustifolius

Penstemon angustifolius (Narrow-leaf Penstemon, Narrow-leaf Beardtongue)
Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)

Semi-desert. Openings, shrublands.  Spring, summer.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, May 3, 2010.

Penstemon angustifolius

Penstemon angustifolius (Narrow-leaf Penstemon, Narrow-leaf Beardtongue)
Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)

Semi-desert. Openings, shrublands.  Spring, summer.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, June 8, 2020.

Deer find the buds and flowers of Penstemons very tasty. Nibbled plants often grow thicker clusters of leaves and sprout new flowering stems. The plant at left was able to keep some flowers long enough for them to be pollinated and go to seed even though the two main stems at the center of the photograph were cropped.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Penstemon angustifolius

Range map for Penstemon angustifolius