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Penstemon deustus (Scabland penstemon)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Penstemon deustus

Penstemon deustus Douglas ex Lindl.

Scabland Penstemon, Scabland Beardtongue, Hot-rock Penstemon, Hot-rock Beardtongue

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: PEDE4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The stems grow in clusters from a woody base and have dingy white or cream bilaterally symmetrical flowers in several whorls in axils of leafy bracts. The sub-shrubby branches of this perennial form clumps 8-20 in. high. Its leaves are toothed and bright green, subtending short, whorled clusters of flowers, marked purple inside. The flowers are more interesting (at close range) than showy.

In a huge western genus of more than 200 species, this will serve to represent the few with white flowers. Few species of these lovely wildflowers are fragrant, most having a mildly unpleasant odor, especially noticeable in Hot Rock Penstemon.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: White to yellowish white, sometimes tinged lavender, with brownish purple nectar guides.


USA: CA , ID , MT , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Native Distribution: C. WA to w. MT, s. to CA, NV & Box Elder Co., UT
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky areas below 8000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.


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: Propagate using half-woody cuttings or seed.
Seed Treatment: Germination is best with cold-moist stratification but is not necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

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

From the National Organizations Directory

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

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


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

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