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Penstemon laetus (Mountain blue penstemon)
Cox, Fran

Penstemon laetus

Penstemon laetus A. Gray

Mountain Blue Penstemon, Mountain Blue Beardtongue, Western Gray Penstemon, Western Gray Beardtongue, Gray Penstemon, Gray Beardtongue

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: PELA7

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Woody at the base, this 1-3 ft. penstemon has several slender, purplish stems; gray-velvety leaves; and blue-violet to purple, widely gaping, tubular flowers in few-flowered, open clusters. At maturity the clumped perennial can be up to 2 ft. wide.


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 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Gray-Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Violet to blue or purple, with or without violet nectar guides.


Native Distribution: C. to s.w. OR, s. to Ventura Co., CA & w. NV
Native Habitat: Dry, open, rocky slopes & flats

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
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: Seeds germinate without difficulty although seedlings are easy prey to damp off. The root crown may be divided.
Commercially Avail: yes

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
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 laetus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Penstemon laetus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Penstemon laetus


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

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