Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
General: Figwort Family (Scrophulariaceae). Penstemon or beardtongue species are perennial forbs or sub-shrubs to shrubs with attractive flowers. They are short to long-lived. Penstemons have opposite, entire, or toothed leaves. They have several stalked flowers or flower clusters that are borne in the axils of the upper leaves or leaflike bracts. The tubular corolla is strongly to distinctly two-lipped at the mouth with a two-lobbed upper lip and a three-lobbed lower lip. There are 4 anther-bearing (fertile) stamens and a single sterile stamen or staminodia that is often hairy at the tip. The fruit is a many-seeded capsule.
Venus penstemon is a native, herbaceous to woody subshrub 3 to 8 dm high. The leaves are finely serrulate or toothed, elliptic to lanceolate. The corolla is light violet to violet-purple with the staminode white-hirsute toward the tip (Abrahms 1951). An identification key, line drawing, and description are available in Abrams (1951).
Distribution: This species is found from Utah and California to Washington. Except for one minor species, the genus Penstemon does not occur naturally outside of North America. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.