Penstemon utahensis


Zoë 4: 124. 1893.

Common names: Utah beardtongue
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 17. Treatment on page 155. Mentioned on page 151, 153, 154, 181.

Stems ascending to erect, 15–60 cm, glaucous. Leaves glabrous or obscurely scabrous, especially along margins, glaucous; basal and proximal cauline 35–80(–100) × 5–20 mm, blade oblanceolate, base tapered, margins entire, apex obtuse to acute; cauline 2–4 pairs, sessile, 15–75 × 4–26 mm, blade elliptic to lanceolate, rarely ovate, base tapered, margins entire, apex acute. Thyrses ± interrupted, ± secund, 11–25 cm, axis glabrous, verticillasters 5–15, cymes 1–4-flowered; proximal bracts lanceolate, 6–23 × 1–4 mm; peduncles and pedicels erect, glabrous. Flowers: calyx lobes ovate, 2.5–4(–5) × 1.5–4(–4.6) mm, margins erose, glabrous; corolla red to crimson, with red nectar guides, bilaterally symmetric, bilabiate, tubular-salverform, 17–22(–25) mm, glandular-pubescent externally, especially distally, glandular-pubescent internally, tube 6–9 mm, throat slightly inflated, 6–7 mm diam., rounded abaxially; stamens included, pollen sacs explanate, 0.6–1.1 mm, sutures smooth; staminode 7–10 mm, flattened distally, 0.4–0.5 mm diam., tip recurved, glabrous, rarely distal 1 mm papillate, papillae golden yellow, to 0.1 mm; style 10–14 mm. Capsules 7–10 × 5–7 mm.

Phenology: Flowering Apr–Jun.
Habitat: Sagebrush shrublands, pinyon-juniper woodlands.
Elevation: 400–2500 m.


Ariz., Calif., Colo., Nev., Utah.


Penstemon utahensis is widespread in the Colorado River Basin from western Colorado through northwestern Arizona, southeastern California, southern Nevada, and southern Utah.

The Hopi tribe of northeastern Arizona used Penstemon utahensis as a ceremonial and decorative plant (D. E. Moerman 1998).

Selected References


Lower Taxa