Scientific Name: Penstemon strictus
Common Names: Rocky Mountain Penstemon, Porch Penstemon, Strict Beardtongue, Rocky Mountain Beardtongue
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Mountain. This beautiful wildflower grows in sunny, open locations in coniferous forests. Although it's not common in the mountains of southeastern Arizona, it can be seen in the Santa Catalina Mountains.
Flower Color: Violet blue to royal purple
Flowering Season: Early summer
Height: Up to 3 feet (1 m) tall
Description: The flowers are in tall, erect, one-sided inflorescences. The individual flowers are broadly tubular and have an inflated floral tube, a violet to purple mouth, an upper lip with 2 oval lobes that project forward like a porch roof, a non-bearded lower lip with 3 oblong, drooping lobes, and a sparsely white-bearded staminode or "tongue". The flowers are followed by teardrop-shaped seed capsules. The leaves are dark green, hairless, opposite, and narrowly lance-shaped.
The similar Upright Blue Beardtongue (Penstemon virgatus) has light purple flowers with a white-bearded lower lip and non-projecting upper lobes.
Hummingbird Flower – The flowers attract hummingbirds even though penstemons with large-mouthed blue flowers are more adapted to bee and bumblebee pollination.
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 strictus Benth. – Rocky Mountain penstemon
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