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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Penstemon cyananthus (Wasatch penstemon)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Penstemon cyananthus

Penstemon cyananthus Hook.

Wasatch Penstemon, Wasatch Beardtongue, Platte River Penstemon, Platte River Beardtongue

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: PECY2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

An erect plant with several leafy stems, and blue-violet bilaterally symmetrical flowers in rings near the top. Erect, smooth, 1-3 ft. stems with pairs of clasping, lance-shaped, 1-4 in. leaves are topped by densely clustered rings of bright blue to blue-violet flowers. Each of the inch-long, smooth, tubular flowers has a 2- lobed upper lip and a 3-lobed lower lip.

This is a common spring wildflower in its area, often filling disturbed ground with handsome patches of blue. An alternate common name for the genus is beardtongue, referring to the bearded sterile stamen, as in this species.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Violet
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: ID , MT , UT , WY
Native Distribution: S.w. MT to n.e. UT
Native Habitat: Dry, mt. clearings

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Well-drained, sandy loams.
Conditions Comments: Once established, this plant should not be overwatered because of possible root rot and mildew problems.


Conspicuous Flowers: 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.


Description: Propagation by seed is the preferred method. Barely scratch seeds into the soil surface. Root divisions can be made in late fall, making sure each piece has a bud. Softwood cuttings can be made in summer from non-flowering shoots.
Seed Treatment: Moist stratification for several months at 40 degrees enhances germination.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Tohono Chul Park, Inc. - Tucson, AZ
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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