Scientific Name: Penstemon stenophyllus
Common Name: Sonoran Beardtongue
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Flower Color: Violet-blue aging to purple
Flowering Season: Late summer, Early Fall. This uncommon wildflower blooms near the end of the summer monsoon rainy season in August and September.
Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall
Description: The flowers are in loose, open, paniculate, terminal inflorescences. The individual flowers are broadly tubular, glandular-hairy and sticky on the outside, and they have a moderately inflated floral tube, a whitish mouth, an upper lip with 2 rounded lobes, a non-bearded lower lip with 3 rounded lobes, and a white, hairless staminode or "tongue". The flowers are followed by rounded, point-tipped seed capsules. The leaves appear grasslike and are green, hairless, opposite, sessile, and linear in shape.
Penstemons typically attract hummingbirds, but those with large-mouthed blue flowers like this species are more adapted to bee and bumblebee pollination.
The similar Toadflax Penstemon (Penstemon linarioides) has flowers with a yellow-bearded staminode and a lightly white-bearded lower lip, while Cochise Beardtongue (Penstemon dasyphyllus) blooms in the spring and has grayish green leaves.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
Genus: Penstemon Schmidel – beardtongue
Species: Penstemon stenophyllus (A. Gray) Howell – Sonoran beardtongue
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