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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Penstemon strictus Benth.
Rocky Mountain penstemon, Rocky Mountain beardtongue
Synonym(s): Penstemon strictus ssp. angustus
USDA Symbol: pest2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Rocky Mountain beardtongue is a 1-3 ft., evergreen perennial with multiple spires of large, royal-blue to purple flowers rising above low mats of foliage. The paired leaves range from narrow and grass-like to broad and lance-shaped depending on the variety. The two lobes of the tubular flowers’ upper lips project forward over the lower lips’ three deeply cut lobes.
Though this penstemon tolerates heavy soils and moisture better than most members of the genus, it prefers dry, light, well-drained soils.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun
, WY Native Distribution:
to n. NM
& n.e. AZ Native Habitat:
Subalpine to valley sagebrush & conifer forests
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Part Shade CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Soil Description:
Sandy or rocky soils. Conditions Comments:
Though this penstemon tolerates heavy soils and moisture better than most members of the genus,
it prefers dry, light, well-drained soils.
PropagationDescription: Propagation is usually by seed although root division is possible. Barely scratch seeds into the soil in fall. Make root divisions in early spring, making sure each division has at least one bud.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Germination is best with cold-moist stratification (2-3 months at 40 degrees).
Commercially Avail: yes
Record Last Modified: 2009-04-18
Research By: TWC Staff