Royal Beardtongue, Royal Penstemon, Showy Penstemon
Synonym: Penstemon speciosus ssp. kennedyi
Showy penstemon as seen near Rimrock Lake in Moses Coulee, north-central Washington........June 7, 2009.
The photo at right shows the inflorescence of showy penstemon as seen at Newberry Crater Volcanic National
Showy penstemon is a fine perennial wildflower, consisting of
one to several stems arising as much as 90 cm high. This penstemon has both
basal and stem leaves. Both are typically glabrous or occasionally found with
some fine hairs. The leaves are all entire margined. The basal leaves are narrowly
lanceolate to elliptical in shape, and may be as much as 15 cm long. The stem
leaves are smaller, linear to lanceolate, without petioles. The stem leaves
may be channeled or somewhat v-shaped in cross-section.
The inflorescence is mostly long and narrow, with 4 to 12 closely
spaced clusters of of flowers. The sepals are lanceolate to ovate (to 10 mm
long). The corollas are violet, purplish, or bright blue in color. The corolla
is also strongly two-lipped. Two deep clefts on opposite sides of the corolla
separate the upper and lower lips. The tube may range in length from 25 to 38
Showy penstemon is found in varied habitats, from subalpine
conditions through the ponderosa pine forests east of the Cascades to the sagebrush
Showy penstemon is a widespread species, being found from central
and eastern Washington south through Oregon (east of the Cascades), west to
the Siskiyou Mts. , east into southwest Idaho and Utah, and further south into
Several photos of showy penstemon with flowers a much darker blue than is usually seen in central Oregon. Photographed along Forest Service Road #16 near Logan Valley, Malheur National Forest.......July 2, 2010.
Additional close-ups of showy penstemon as seen along Oregon Highway 19 adjacent to the Shelton State Wayside.......June 30, 2010.
Showy penstemon blooming (left) along the South Loop Road at the upper end of the Rooster Comb, Steens Mountain...........July 9, 2014. The photo at right shows showy penstemon as seen along FS Road 42 adjacent to the junction with FS Road 4205, Ochoco National Forest........June 25, 2017.
Showy penstemon as seen along FS Road #38-200 southeast of Spanish Peak, Ochoco National Forest..........June 14, 2015.
Showy penstemon with flower buds ready to pop as seen at Fort Rock State Park, Lake County, OR........May 18, 2016.
Showy penstemon as seen at Newberry
Crater Volcanic National Monument (left and center).......July 13, 1994.The photo at right shows the flowers of showy penstemon as seen on vernally moist slopes on low mesas at the southeastern corner of Hart Mt. National Antelope Refuge..........June 10, 2016.
Showy penstemon blooming at left atop the Mount Pisgah ridgeline near East Point, Ochoco National Forest.........July 14, 2017. The photo at right shows a close-up of the inflroescence of showy penstemon as seen along the South Prong Trail, Black Canyon Wilderness.......June 16, 2019.
Showy penstemon observed along the Fremont National Recreation Trail #160 on a rocky bald at about 7400' on the southeastern shoulder of Crook Peak, Fremont-Winema National Forest.......June 28, 2019.