Leafl. Bot. Observ. Crit. 1: 165. 1906. (as Pentstemon)
Herbs. Stems ascending to erect, 15–40(–65) cm, glabrous, not glaucous. Leaves basal and cauline, not leathery, glabrous; basal and proximal cauline (23–)40–90(–120) × 6–14(–24) mm, blade spatulate to elliptic, base tapered, margins entire, apex rounded to obtuse or acute; cauline 3–6 pairs, sessile or proximals short- to long-petiolate, 24–115 × 4–15 mm, blade oblanceolate to lanceolate, base tapered to truncate or clasping, margins entire, apex obtuse to acute. Thyrses interrupted, cylindric, 6–15 cm, axis glabrous, verticillasters 2–6, cymes 3–11-flowered, 2 per node; proximal bracts lanceolate, 8–50 × 1–8 mm, margins entire; peduncles and pedicels erect, glabrous. Flowers: calyx lobes ovate to lanceolate, 3–5.5 × 1.2–2.1 mm, apex acute to short-caudate, glabrous; corolla white or lavender, without nectar guides, funnelform, 10–15 mm, glabrous externally, moderately yellow- or white-lanate internally abaxially, tube 4–5 mm, throat slightly inflated, 3–4 mm diam., 2-ridged abaxially; stamens: longer pair reaching orifice or slightly exserted, pollen sacs opposite, navicular, 0.6–0.8 mm, dehiscing completely, connective splitting, sides glabrous, sutures smooth; staminode 6–7 mm, included, 0.3–0.4 mm diam., tip straight, distal 0.5–3 mm moderately pilose, hairs yellow, to 0.8 mm, rarely glabrous; style 7–8 mm. Capsules 4–7 × 3–4 mm, glabrous. 2n = 32.
Phenology: Flowering Jun–Jul.
Habitat: Moist meadows, stream banks, aspen woodlands.
Elevation: 1300–2800 m.
Idaho, Nev., Oreg.
Penstemon pratensis is known from the northern Central Great Basin and Owyhee Desert regions of the northern Great Basin. The species is documented in Owyhee County, Idaho, Elko and Eureka counties, Nevada, and Harney and Malheur counties, Oregon. In Elko County, Nevada, where it occurs with P. rydbergii var. oreocharis, P. pratensis appears to occur mostly in the East Humboldt Range and Ruby Mountains, south and east of the Humboldt River. Most populations of P. rydbergii var. oreocharis in that county occur north and west of the Humboldt River in the Independence and Jarbidge mountains.