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Willow Dells Tr - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Penstemon palmeri - Palmer's penstemon

Other Common Names: Palmer's beardtongue, scented beardtongue, scented penstemon
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Scrophulariaceae

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Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: The tallest penstemon in the Southwest and one of the few fragrant penstemons. The flowers are designed for bee pollination, providing a landing platform and a swollen tube to accommodate the chubby bodies of bumblebees.
Identification notes: Stems smooth, hairless. Leaves are obviously toothed, the base of the uppermost leaves are fused around the stem. Flower petals strongly two-lipped, abruptly inflated from a tube not longer than the sepals, pale pink to pink, white throats, purple guides.
Height: To 4 feet


Habitat Description: Oak, pinyon juniper woodlands and montane conifer forests; along roadsides, washes, slopes, among sagebrush, canyon floors.
Plant Communities: Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3500 - 6800 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pale pink to pink     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Mar - Sep
Description: Flowers, 1-1/2 inches long, in an open or dense spike cluster that is up to 2 feet long; each balloon-like bloom has 2 lobes flaring backwards and three lobes bending downward; lobes are streaked with magenta. Flowers are on one side of the stems.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Grayish-green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Triangular     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Basal and opposite     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leathery leaves, 1 to 5 inches long with toothed or wavy margins; uppermost opposite leaves are joined at their bases around the stem.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Tan   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Erect capsules are 1/2 inch long.
Seed Notes: Black.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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