Penstemon palmeri

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Penstemon palmeri
Penstemon palmeri 5.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Penstemon
Species: P. palmeri
Binomial name
Penstemon palmeri

Penstemon palmeri, the Palmer's penstemon, is a perennial penstemon notable for its showy, rounded flowers, and for being one of the few scented penstemons.[1][2] The plant, in the Plantaginaceae family, is named after the botanist Edward Palmer.


It is found native to desert mountains from the eastern Mojave Desert in California, to eastern Nevada, northeastern Arizona, and New Mexico, and north through areas in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and eastern Washington.[1]

Penstemon palmeri is a drought-tolerant perennial plant, preferring well draining drier soils. The plant grows in washes and bajadas, roadsides, canyon floors, creosote bush scrub, and juniper woodlands, from 1,100–2,300 metres (3,600–7,500 ft).[1][3]


Penstemon palmeri, Palmer's penstemon, grows erect and may reach 2 metres (6.6 ft) in maximum height. The leaves are generally oppositely arranged and have toothed margins. The inflorescence is a panicle or raceme with small bracts.[1][3]

The flower has a five-lobed calyx of sepals and a cylindrical corolla with may have an expanded throat. The staminode is partially hairy. The showy, rounded flower has large pink to violet to blue-purple petals. Occasional specimens are red, yellow, or white flowered.[3]


There are three Penstemon palmeri varieties:

  • Penstemon palmeri var. palmeri - Palmer's penstemon, most occurrences of this species are this variety.[4]
  • Penstemon palmeri var. macranthus - scented beardtongue, is endemic to the Great Basin Desert in Nevada [5]
  • Penstemon palmeri var. eglandulosus - scented beardtongue, is limited to Utah and Arizona [6]


  1. ^ a b c d . USDA Profile - P. palmeri
  2. ^ "Penstemon palmeri". Denver Botanic Gardens - Gardens Navigator. Denver Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Jepson -P. palmeri
  4. ^ USDA var. palmeri
  5. ^ USDA var. macranthus
  6. ^ USDA. var. eglandulosus

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