The photo at right shows a close-up of the anther sacs of Blue Mt. penstemon as seen along Tollgate Lane in the Umatilla National Forest........June 27, 2006. One can clearly seen the narrow opening in each anther sac, which splits about 2/3 of its length.
Blue Mountain penstemon is an attractive perennial wildflower with several stout, erect stems which rise 20-60 cm from a rosette of large basal leaves. The basal leaves are fairly thick, shiny green, and with entire margins. The basal leaves are narrowly elliptic, tapering gradually to long petoles. They range from 8-25 cm long. The lower stem leaves are reduced in size, gradually increasing in size to mid stem where they are the largest. The upper leaves are again reduced in size. The stem leaves range from 6-9 cm long and are ovate with acute tips. The blades are sessile or clasping, with the bases of the leaf pairs often meetin around the stem.
The inflorescence is a panicle of 3-10 verticillasters which are widely spaced lower on the stem but more crowded upwards. The flower clusters are in the leaf axils and are usually 2-4 flowered. The corolla is blue or purplish and glabrous throughout. The corolla ranges from 25-33 mm in length. The sepals are lanceolate to ovate and tapered to acute to acuminate tips. Individual sepals are 5-9mm long with entire margins. The anthers are sparsely haired with short, straight hairs. The anther sacs split apart over the outer 2/3 of the sac. The sacs twist so that the anthers are S-shaped. The staminode is expanded slightly and short-bearded at the tip.
Blue Mt. penstemon is found on ridge tops in open forests or on open, rocky to gravelly slopes.
Blue Mt. penstemon is only found in the Blue Mts. of southeastern Washington and northern Wallowa County in northeastern Oregon.
The photos above show various close-up views of Blue Mt. penstemon as seen on the lower third of Hat Pt. Road in the Hells Canyon National Recreational Area........June 28, 2007.