The photo above is a close-up of the corolla of shrubby penstemon (var. serratus) on steep west facing slopes along Hat Pt. Road several miles below Granny View in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area..........June 28, 2007.
Shrubby penstemon is a woody, mat forming penstemon with numerous flowering and sterile stems atop dense mats of leaves. The flowering stems may reach a height of 40 cm and are freely branched.
The leaves are evergreen, leathery, and shiny green. The leaves are both basal and cauline (stem), with the latter being smaller. In variety serratus, the leaves are broader than in the other varieties, and are toothed and linear-oblanceolate in shape. Individual leaves in this variety measure from 1-2.5 cm long.
The inflorescence is a few-flowered raceme. The glandular sepals are pointed at the tip. The corolla is blue-lavender to purple, and up to 5 cm in length. The palate is bearded and white or yellowish in color. The flowers are tubular with two spreading lips. The lower lip is longer than the upper. The calyx is glandular with entire-margined, leafy sepals from 7-15 mm long. The anther sacs are densely white and woolly. The staminode is yellow-bearded at the narrow tip and about one-half the length of the filaments.
Variety fruticosus: Leaf blades up to 6 cm long, usually 2-7 times longer than wide. Plants found from southern British Columbia south to the east of the Cascades in central Washington to the Columbia River Gorge and east across central Idaho to Montana, and Wyoming.
Variety scouleri: Leaf blades 2-5 cm long with mostly entire margins. Leaves linear in shape, mostly 6-10 times longer than wide. Plants of southeastern British Columbia, northeastern Washington, and northern Idaho.
Variety serratus: Leaf blades mostly 1-2.5 cm long with sharply toothed margins. Plants of southeastern Washington, northeastern Oregon and west-central Idaho.
Shrubby penstemon inhabits rocky, often talus slopes to forests, from the foothills into alpine areas.
Shrubby penstemon is found east of the Cascade summit from British Columbia, south through the Washington Cascades, and eastward to the Idaho panhandle, and again eastward to Wyoming. A southern branch extends through central Oregon to the Cascades, and also down the Columbia Gorge.
The photo above shows shrubby penstemon (var. serratus) on steep west facing slopes along Hat Pt. Road several miles below Granny View in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area..........June 28, 2007.
-The photo at left shows a mat of leaves of shrubby penstemon (var. serratus) as seen along Eureka road about one and a half miles north of Buckhorn Lookout in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeastern Oregon.........July 9, 2007. The photo at right shows sawtooth bush penstemon blooming along Forest #3965 about a mile and one half west of the Hells Canyon Overlook, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area........June 11, 2018.
-The photo above shows the corolla of shrubby penstemon (var. serratus) at Saddle Creek Campground, Wallowa-Whitman N.F..........July 8, 1999.
The photos above show various views of shrubby penstemon (var. serratus) as seen on cliffs along Forest Road #40 near Sunset Point in the Umatilla National Forest of southeastern Washington........June 25, 2007.
-The 2 photos seen directly above show close-up views of shrubby penstemon (var. serratus) as seen along the Hells Canyon Rim Road in Hells Canyon NRA...........June 28, 2008.