Page author: David Giblin
Penstemon venustus
elegant beardtongue, Blue Mountain penstemon

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades in Washington, especially in the Blue Mountains area; Washington south to California and Utah, east to Idaho.

Habitat: Open, rocky slopes, from the foothills to moderate elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Perennial from a stout taproot, shrubby at the base, the numerous stems 3-8 dm. long, forming a rounded clump, glabrous throughout.


Leaves opposite, all cauline, the lowermost reduced, the others numerous, sessile, lanceolate to broadly oblong, 4-10 cm. long and 1-3 cm. wide, sharply serrate or occasionally sub-entire.


Inflorescence a narrow, terminal panicle, or nearly a raceme; calyx 2.5-6.5 mm. long, the 5 segments scarious margined and toothed, usually glabrous; corolla bright lavender to purple-violet, 25-38 mm. long, over 1 cm. wide at the mouth, glabrous inside and out except for the marginal hairs on the lobes; the 4 fertile filaments pubescent toward the tip, the lower pair exerted; anthers permanently horseshoe-shaped, 1.6-2.0 mm. long; pollen sacs remaining saccate and indehiscent on the lower half, glabrous except for the hairs along the sutures; staminode shortly exerted, with a long, white beard along the flattened tip.


Capsule 6-9 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Penstemon venustus Douglas ex Lindl.
Publication: Edwards's Botanical Register 16: pl. 1309. 1830.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Penstemon venustus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Penstemon venustus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Penstemon venustus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Penstemon venustus photos.

USDA Plants: Penstemon venustus information.

50 photographs:
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