Lovely penstemon as seen about five miles up Hat Pt. Road in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.....................June 28, 2007. Note the long white hairs on the filaments below the horseshoe-shaped anthers.
Lovely penstemon is a tall, often many stemmed perennial wildflower. Its flowering stems are often up to 80 cm tall. The leaves are all found on the stems. They are lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate in shape, tapering to a point. The leaves are sometimes entire, but more often serrate (See photo below.). The teeth may have soft, fine hairs at the tips The leaves are sessile (no stem) and glabrous (not haired).
The inflorescence is a raceme-panicle, often with all the flowers turned to one side. The corolla is violet to lavender or purple and measures up to 4 cm in length. The corolla is definitely two-lipped. A distinctive trait is that the filaments are pubescent just below the horse-shoe shaped anthers. The staminode is flattened and expanded at the tip with a tuft of long, white hairs. (See closeup photos.)
Lovely penstemon is found in talus or rocky outcrops from the foothills to moderate elevation in the mountains.
Lovely penstemon is found from southwest Washington south into northeastern Oregon, and eastward into the adjacent, western portions of Idaho.
A view of a fully grown Lovely Penstemon Photographed on the Frances Lake Trail, Wallowa-Whitman N.F........late July, 1997.
Another view of a fully grown Lovely Penstemon Photographed on Oregon Highway 3, descending to the Grande Ronde River from the south......Late June, 1998.
Lovely penstemon growing on a steep slope along the Umatilla Rim Trail on the northwest tip of High Ridge, Umatilla National Forest..............July 24, 2012.
The photo above shows a mass of lovely penstemon as seen about five miles up Hat Pt. Road in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.....................June 28, 2007.
The photo above shows a close-up of a stem leaf of the lovely penstemon. Note the serrate margins to the leaves.
Lovely penstemon as seen about five miles up Hat Pt. Road in the Hells Canyon NRA.....................June 28, 2007.