Brittonia 31: 106. 1979
Stems ascending to erect, (15–)20–40 cm, glaucous. Leaves glabrous or obscurely scabrous, especially along margins, glaucous; basal and proximal cauline (30–)50–75 × 7–14 mm, blade oblanceolate, base tapered, margins entire, apex obtuse to acute, sometimes mucronate; cauline 2–4 pairs, sessile, 25–70(–90) × 4–15(–25) mm, blade lanceolate, base tapered, margins entire, apex acute. Thyrses ± interrupted, ± secund, 5–26 cm, axis glabrous, verticillasters 5 or 6(–10), cymes 3–7(–13)-flowered; proximal bracts lanceolate, 10–54 × 3–16 mm; peduncles and pedicels spreading to ascending, glabrous. Flowers: calyx lobes ovate, 3–6(–7) × 1.9–2.6 mm, margins entire or erose, glabrous; corolla violet or reddish violet to lavender, with red or reddish purple nectar guides, bilaterally symmetric, bilabiate, tubular-funnelform, 13–17(–20) mm, glabrous externally or buds and young flowers sometimes with sessile glands distally, glabrous internally, tube 5–7 mm, throat gradually inflated, 6–7 mm diam., rounded or slightly 2-ridged abaxially; stamens included, pollen sacs navicular, 1–1.3 mm, sutures smooth or papillate; staminode 7–8 mm, flattened distally, 0.5–0.6 mm diam., tip recurved, distal 1–3 mm sparsely papillate, papillae golden yellow or reddish yellow, to 0.2 mm; style 10–12 mm. Capsules 8–10 × 4–6 mm. 2n = 16.
Phenology: Flowering May–Jun.
Habitat: Sagebrush shrublands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, pine forests.
Elevation: 1800–3000 m.
Penstemon patens occurs on mountain slopes surrounding the Owens Valley in Inyo and Mono counties, California, in the Huntoon Mountains in western Mineral County, Nevada, and in the East Desert and Sheep ranges in Clark County, Nevada. Penstemon patens usually is distinguishable from P. confusus and P. utahensis by its glabrous (versus glandular-pubescent) corollas; flower buds and young flowers of P. patens often bear some sessile glands distally.