Penstemon ellipticus
rockvine beardtongue

Distribution: Southwest Alberta, southeast British Columbia, northern Idaho and northwest Montana.

Habitat: Rocky places at high elevations in the mountains, often on cliffs, ledges, or in rock crevices.

Flowers: Late June - September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Review Group 1 in Washington (WANHP)


Perennial, forming dense mats with creeping, woody stems, and with scattered, erect flowering stems 0.5-1.5 dm. tall, these with short, spreading hairs.


Leaves opposite, glabrous, those of the mat short-petiolate, the blade broadly elliptic, 1-2.5 cm. long and 5-15 mm. wide; leaves of the flowering shoots sessile, more ovate, nearly as large.


Inflorescence a compact, few-flowered raceme, with simple, axillary pedicels, glandular-hairy; calyx 8-15 mm. long, the 5 segments lance-linear; corolla deep lavender, 27-40 mm. long, 1 cm. wide at the mouth, keeled on the back, glabrous outside, with long, white hairs at the base of the lower lip within; anthers long-woolly, the pollen sacs wholly dehiscent and opening wide enough to form a plane; staminode slender, shorter than the fertile filaments, long-bearded much of its length.


Capsule 8-11 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Penstemon ellipticus J.M. Coult. & Fisher
Publication: Bot. Gaz. 18: 302. (as Pentstemon). 1893.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Penstemon davidsonii Greene ssp. ellipticus (J.M. Coult. & Fisher) B. Boivin
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Penstemon ellipticus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Penstemon ellipticus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Penstemon ellipticus photos.

USDA Plants: Penstemon ellipticus information.

14 photographs:
Group by