Penstemon palmeri – Palmer's Penstemon

Penstemon palmeri - Palmer's Penstemon, Palmer Penstemon

Penstemon palmeri - Palmer's Penstemon, Palmer Penstemon

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Penstemon palmeri

Common Names: Palmer's Penstemon, Palmer Penstemon

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert (upper elevation), Upland, Mountain. This showy wildflower grows at elevations between 3500 and 6500 feet (1067 and 1981 m).

Flower Color: Pale pink, Lavender

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer

Height: To 5 feet (1.5 m) tall

Description: The flowers are in clusters on tall, upright flower stalks. The individual flowers are broadly tubular, 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) long, large-mouthed, and have 2 upper lobes and 3 reflexed, magenta-lined lower lobes. The leaves are opposite, glaucous blue-green in color, toothed, and triangular in shape. The upper leaf bases are joined together around the stems, forming boat-like leaf pairs.

The similar Desert Penstemon (Penstemon pseudospectabilis) also has boat-like, joined stem leaves, but it has green leaves and smaller, brighter pink, non-fragrant flowers.

Special Characteristics

Fragrant – The flowers have a sweet, rose-like, floral fragrance. The other penstemons found here are not fragrant.

Hummingbird Flower – The flowers attract hummingbirds.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
Genus: Penstemon Schmidel – beardtongue
Species: Penstemon palmeri A. Gray – Palmer's penstemon

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map
Time to Plant Penstemon Seeds! – The Firefly Forest