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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 speciosus (Royal penstemon)
Pyle, Lynn

Penstemon speciosus

Penstemon speciosus Douglas ex Lindl.

Royal Penstemon, Royal Beardtongue, Sagebrush Penstemon, Sagebrush Beardtongue

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Synonym(s): Penstemon speciosus ssp. kennedyi


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The sub-shrubby branches of this clumped perennial rise 2-3 ft. and bear narrow, spoon-shaped leaves. The racemes of flowers, borne many to each plant, carry close wands of gaping bluish flowers.

Royal Beardtongue is a member of the figwort or snapdragon family (family Scrophulariaceae), which includes mostly herbs, sometimes shrubs, rarely trees, often with showy flowers.


From the Image Gallery

1 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: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Blue to violet, with reddish purple nectar guides.


USA: CA , ID , NV , OR , UT , WA
Native Distribution: E. WA to CA, e. to ID & n.e. UT
Native Habitat: Dry plains; wooded or shrubby slopes; 3500-8500 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Sandy or rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Drought-tolerant.


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


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

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