Short-lobed penstemon near Prineville, OR........June 22, 1998.
Short-lobed penstemon is a rare perennial found in Oregon and southwestern Idaho. It is a close relative of Gairdner's penstemon. Short-lobed penstemon is an upright wildflower to 40 cm in height, with a few to numerous ascending, sometimes branching stems.
The leaves are found on the stems. These cauline leaves are all linear, opposite, and clasping to the stem, with the leaf pairs connected at the base by a ridge around the stem. Individual leaves are 20 to 50 mm long and 1 to 3 mm wide. They are also densely fine-haired, with the margins curled inward. Leaves on the upper stem maybe slightly offset, rather than opposite.
The inflorescence is glandular, and consists of a few-flowered raceme or mixed raceme-panicle. The sepals are lance-shaped to oval, tapering to pointed tips, with entire margins. Individual sepals are 3 to 5.5 mm long. The flowers are lavender, or occasionally blue or pink. The tubes are long and narrow, and are not inflated very much. The length varies from 15 to 23 mm. The petal lobes are short and not greatly reflexed. The anthers are glabrous, with the sacs dehiscing their full length, opening opposite and becoming boat-shaped. The staminode is yellow-bearded its full length. The staminode is exserted from the corolla.
Short-lobed penstemon is found in dry, rocky or gravelly places, often on ridge tops in the plains and foothills. It is often associated with sagebrush. It grows from 1500 to 2000 meters in elevation.
Short-lobed penstemon is found from central Oregon southeast to southwestern Idaho.
Short-lobed penstemon as seen along US Highway 26 near Prineville, OR........June 22, 1998.