[Beardtongues and Penstemons: The Genus Penstemon East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon

Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris

Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris

Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris)

Taper-leaved penstemon as seen in a meadow along Forest Service Road #1647 in Logan Valley, Malheur National Forest.......May 30, 2014.

Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris)Characteristics:

Taper-leaved penstemon is a variable, wide-spread perennial found across much of the Pacific Northwest. This variety (variety palustris) appears with bluish or purplish flowers. Plants are often tufted, from 30 to 90 cm tall and and somewhat glandular above to glabrous below, or occasionaly somewhat pubescent.

The leaves are found both at the base and on the stems. The basal leaflets appear in a rosette, and consist of lanceolate to ovate leaves with short petioles (see below). The margins are typically entire, but may also be finely toothed in this variety. The basal leaves may be either glabrous to finely pubescent, and are up to 17 cm long and 4 cm wide. The stem leaves are reduced in size, opposite, and bright green. These are usually sessile or without petioles, and some-what lanceolate in shape.

The inflorescence is glandular-hairy, and consists of several (3 to 7) loose to crowded verticillasters, each of which consists of several to many flowers. The calyx is 4 to 7 mm long, with entire, accuminate sepals. In this variety, the corollas are mostly 10 to 14 mm in length, and the corolla either distinctly flared outward at the mouth or occasionally not greatly flared. The palate is bearded, as is the distal expanded tip of the staminode. The staminode reaches the opening of the tube. The flowers of this variety blue or puplish. The exterior surface of the corolla is glandular hairy. The anthers are glabrous or lightly pubescent, with the sacs dehiscing their full length, and upon opening, spreading opposite and boat-shaped.


Varieties Found in Oregon & Washington:

Variety attenuatus: The corolla generally measures greater than 12 mm long. Found in wet meadows, ponderosa pine woods, and on open slopes.

Variety palustris: The corolla measures 7-12 mm long. Found in wet meadows.


Basal leaves of Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris)

Basal leaves of taper-leaved penstemon.

Habitat:

Taper-leaved penstemon is found in dry to moist meadows or on open or wooded slopes in the foothills to moderate elevation in the mountains.


Range:

Taper-leaved penstemon (var. palustris) is found in the southern Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. It is found in southern Morrow County, as well as Grant and Baker counties.

Variety attenuatus may be found east of the Cascade Mts. in Central Oregon and Washington east through northern Idaho to western Montana.


Internal flower parts of Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. attenuatus - Internal flower parts of Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. attenuatus

Close-up sideview of the corolla and calyx of Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. attenuatus - Close-up sideview of the calyx and corolla of Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. attenuatus

Frontal view of the corolla of Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. attenuatus - Frontal view of the corolla of Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. attenuatus

Additional close-up photos of taper-leaved penstemon as seen in a meadow at Tin Can Springs along Forest Service Road #2860, southern Malheur National Forest.......July 18, 2010.

Close-up sideview of a corolla of Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris) - Close-up of the interior flower parts of Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris) - Close-up of the internal flower parts of Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris)

Close-up of the inflorescence of Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris) - Close-up of the inflorescence of Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris) - Close-up of the inflorescence of Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris)

Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris)

Additional close-ups of small-flowered beardtongue as seen at the wildlife viewing area in Logan Valley, Malheur National Forest........June 26, 2011.

Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris) - Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. attenuatus

The photo at right shows small-flowered beardtongue as seen along the Roads End Trail, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.........August 19, 2011 The photo at right shows taper-leaved penstemon as seen in a meadow at Tin Can Springs along Forest Service Road #2860, southern Malheur National Forest.......July 18, 2010.

Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris)

Taper-leaved penstemon as seen in wet meadows along the North Fork Crooked River about one and one-quarter miles south of the junctions of Forest Service Roads #42 and #4215, Ochoco National Forest.......June 12, 2015.

Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris) - Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris

Taper-leaved penstemon (var. palustris) along forest road #24 east of Granite, OR, Wallowa-Whitman N.F.........June 24, 1998.

Small-flowered Sulphur Beardtongue, Sulphur Beardtongue, Taper-leaved Penstemon: Penstemon attenuatus var. palustris (Synonym: Penstemon attenuatus ssp. palustris)

Taper-leaved penstemon (var. palustris) along forest road #24 east of Granite, OR, Wallowa-Whitman N.F.........June 24, 1998.

Paul Slichter