Penstemon stenophyllus – Sonoran Beardtongue

Penstemon stenophyllus - Sonoran Beardtongue (flower)

Penstemon stenophyllus - Sonoran Beardtongue

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Penstemon stenophyllus

Common Name: Sonoran Beardtongue

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Upland

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
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
Genus: Penstemon Schmidel – beardtongue
Species: Penstemon stenophyllus (A. Gray) Howell – Sonoran beardtongue

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map