Herbs. Stems erect, 15–45(–60) cm, glabrous, glaucous. Leaves basal and cauline, opposite, hirsute, hairs pointed, not glaucous; basal and proximal cauline 15–30(–60) × 4–10(–14) mm, blade ovate to elliptic, base tapered, margins entire, apex rounded to acute; cauline 2 or 3 pairs, petiolate or sessile, 8–25(–45) × 1–3 mm, blade spatulate to oblanceolate or linear, base tapered, margins entire, apex rounded to acute. Thyrses interrupted, cylindric, 4–24 cm, axis glandular-pubescent, verticillasters 2–4, cymes 1–4-flowered, 1 or 2 per node; proximal bracts subulate to lanceolate or linear, 4–35 × 1–3 mm; peduncles and pedicels ascending to erect, glandular-pubescent. Flowers: calyx lobes oblong to ovate, 3–4.5(–5) × 0.9–2 mm, glandular-pubescent; corolla lavender to violet or purple, with or without faint reddish purple nectar guides, ventricose, 25–34 mm, glandular-pubescent externally, yellow-lanate internally abaxially, tube 6–9 mm, throat gradually inflated, 6–8 mm diam., 2-ridged abaxially; stamens included, filaments glabrous, pollen sacs nearly parallel, 1.4–1.5(–1.7) mm, distal 1/2 indehiscent, sides glabrous, sutures denticulate, teeth to 0.1 mm; staminode 15–19 mm, included, 0.2–0.3 mm diam., distal 4–8 mm sparsely pilose, hairs yellow, to 0.7 mm; style 20–29 mm. Capsules 6–10 × 4–6 mm. 2n = 16.
Phenology: Flowering Jun–Aug.
Habitat: Sagebrush shrublands, pine-juniper and pine woodlands.
Elevation: 2000–3100 m.
Penstemon scapoides is known from the Inyo, Last Chance, and White mountains in Inyo County.