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Penstemon davidsonii (Davidson's penstemon)
Vick, Albert F. W.

Penstemon davidsonii

Penstemon davidsonii Greene

Davidson's Penstemon, Davidson's Beardtongue, Timberline Penstemon, Timberline Beardtongue, Alpine Penstemon, Alpine Beardtongue, Blue Color Mat

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: peda2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A flat, mat-forming perennial with flowering branches less than 6 inches high. The thick, round leaves are dark green, sometimes red-tinged. A matted plant with a woody base and stems and opposite, crowded leaves. The short flowering branches usually bear 2-4 blue-lavender to rose-purple bilaterally symmetrical flowers that seem unusually large for such a matted plant.

When in full flower, this species forms spectacular lavender mats. Plants in the southern part of the range have toothless leaves; to the north, toothed leaves are common.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 6 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Lavender to bluish lavender, violet or purple. Abaxial ridges usually lavender or white.


USA: CA , NV , OR , WA
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: S. B.C. to Tulare Co., CA & NV
Native Habitat: Rocky, alpine & sub-alpine woods & fields

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Well-drained soil with some summer water.
Conditions Comments: Must have winter snowcover.


Use Wildlife: Hummingbirds
Attracts: Hummingbirds

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: 1-2 months stratification is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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


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

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