Penstemon cyananthus Hook.
Wasatch Penstemon, Wasatch Beardtongue, Platte River Penstemon, Platte River Beardtongue
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
USDA Symbol: PECY2
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
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Violet
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: ID , MT , UT , WY
Native Distribution: S.w. MT to n.e. UT
Native Habitat: Dry, mt. clearings
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: 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 DirectoryAccording 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 ReferenceWebref 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 resourcesUSDA: Find Penstemon cyananthus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Penstemon cyananthus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Penstemon cyananthus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-22
Research By: TWC Staff