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Penstemon davidsonii (Alpine penstemon)
Vick, Albert F. W.

Penstemon davidsonii

Penstemon davidsonii Greene

Alpine penstemon, Blue color mat, Davidson's penstemon, Timberline beardtongue

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: peda2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A flat, mat-forming perennial with flowering branches less than 4 in. high. The thick, round leaves are dark green, sometimes red-tinged. A matted plant with a woody base and stems, opposite, crowded leaves, and blue-lavender, bilaterally symmetrical flowers clustered on short erect stems. The short flowering branches usually bear 2-4 blue-purple to rose-purple flowers that seem unusually large for such a matted plant.

When in full flower, this species forms spectacular lavender mats. Plants in the southern part of the range have toothless leaves; to the north, toothed leaves are common.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug


USA: CA , NV , OR , WA
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: S. B.C. to Tulare Co., CA & NV
Native Habitat: Rocky, alpine & sub-alpine woods & fields

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Well-drained soil with some summer water.
Conditions Comments: Must have winter snowcover.


Use Wildlife: Hummingbirds
Attracts: Hummingbirds


Description: Propagate using half-woody cuttings or seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: 1-2 months stratification is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Oregon Native Plant Nursery - Woodburn, OR

Additional resources

USDA: Find Penstemon davidsonii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Penstemon davidsonii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Penstemon davidsonii


Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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