Penstemon ambiguus


Ann. Lyceum Nat. Hist. New York 2: 228. 1827. (as Pentstemon ambiguum)

Common names: Gilia beardtongue
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 17. Treatment on page 95. Mentioned on page 96, 243.

Stems (20–)30–40(–60) cm, glabrous or scabrous proximally. Leaves (7–)10–25 pairs, (3–)5–30(–40) × 0.5–1(–2.5) mm, blade base tapered, margins glabrous or scabrous, apex acuminate to mucronate. Thyrses 6–15 cm, verticillasters 6–10, cymes 1–3-flowered; proximal bracts linear, 6–27(–33) × 0.3–1.5 mm; peduncles and pedicels glabrous or scabrous. Flowers: calyx lobes ovate, 1.5–3.5 × 1–1.5 mm; corolla pink (limb milky pink or milky white), lined internally abaxially with reddish purple nectar guides, salverform, (14–)16–22(–28) mm, glandular-pubescent internally in 2 lines on abaxial surface, tube 3–4 mm, throat 3–5 mm diam.; stamens included, pollen sacs 0.5–0.6 mm; staminode 7–9 mm; style 8–10 mm. Capsules 6–9 × 3–5 mm.


Ariz., Colo., Kans., N.Mex., Nebr., Nev., Okla., Tex., Utah, n Mexico.


Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).

G. T. Nisbet and R. C. Jackson (1960) reported natural hybrids between Penstemon ambiguus and P. thurberi from Lincoln and Socorro counties, New Mexico.

Some Native American tribes used Penstemon ambiguus as a drug or ceremonial plant (D. E. Moerman 1998).

Selected References



1 Stems scabrous proximally; leaf blade margins scabrous. Penstemon ambiguus var. ambiguus
1 Stems glabrous; leaf blade margins glabrous or scabrous. Penstemon ambiguus var. laevissimus