Penstemons, bluish and tall, 2010-2012

February 24, 2013

Shown here are 7 of the species of Penstemon I photographed across these 3 years.  6 of these taxa I had not photographed before.

I decided to separate my flowering Penstemon shots from 2010-2012 into 3 posts.  This post’s species are bluish-flowered and tall.  The next post’s will be bluish-flowered and short.  And then the following post will cover red and pink -flowered species.

The 7 taxa shown in this post are:

sepalulus
rydbergii
watsonii
cyananthus
longiflorus
comarrhenus
cyanocaulis

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late July 2011, Penstemon sepalulus (a), Wasatch Mtns, Utah Co, UT

late July 2011, Penstemon sepalulus (a), Wasatch Mtns, Utah Co, UT

I knew what these were when I first saw them growing here.  I’d seen nonflowering P. sepalulus once before, a bit farther N in Utah Co.  This species is like a southern version of P. platyphyllus, with narrower leaves & similar flowers.

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late July 2011, Penstemon sepalulus (b), Wasatch Mtns, Utah Co, UT

late July 2011, Penstemon sepalulus (b), Wasatch Mtns, Utah Co, UT

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late July 2011, Penstemon sepalulus (c), Wasatch Mtns, Utah Co, UT

late July 2011, Penstemon sepalulus (c), Wasatch Mtns, Utah Co, UT

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late July 2011, Penstemon sepalulus (d), Wasatch Mtns, Utah Co, UT

late July 2011, Penstemon sepalulus (d), Wasatch Mtns, Utah Co, UT

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mid July 2010, Penstemon rydbergii, Strawberry Reservoir area, Wasatch Mtns, Wasatch Co, UT

mid July 2010, Penstemon rydbergii, Strawberry Reservoir area, Wasatch Mtns, Wasatch Co, UT

This is my only photo so far of P. rydbergii.  Mid July is the end of this species’ usual flowering period.  Maybe I’ll photo one in mid-bloom stage, someday.  This species grows in grassier areas than the other Penstemon species I’ve shown.

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early Aug 2010, Penstemon watsonii (a), South Snake Range, White Pine Co, NV

early Aug 2010, Penstemon watsonii (a), South Snake Range, White Pine Co, NV

In western UT & E NV, if you walk up some range’s slopes & search in sun-dried areas near sagebrush, you can find some P. watsonii such as this.

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early Aug 2010, Penstemon watsonii (b), South Snake Range, White Pine Co, NV

early Aug 2010, Penstemon watsonii (b), South Snake Range, White Pine Co, NV

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mid Aug 2010, Penstemon cyananthus, Wasatch Mtns, Salt Lake Co, UT

mid Aug 2010, Penstemon cyananthus, Wasatch Mtns, Salt Lake Co, UT

When I took this shot I was not sure what species I was looking at.  I thought it might be P. leonardi var. leonardii, since I thought it was at elevation too high for P. cyananthus.  Plus this plant’s leaves look narrow for cyananthus.  But the flower looks cyananthus, and certainly is not leonardii since leonardii has black anthers rather than the tan/white anthers of cyananthus here.  Now I have realized P. cyananthus can tend to have narrower leaves when it grows at higher elevation.  Notice the Monardella glauca flowering in the background…a sign of the high elevation here, which is around 9,500 ft.

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early July 2011, Penstemon cyananthus (a), W Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

early July 2011, Penstemon cyananthus (a), W Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

There’s some P. cyananthus in the Oquirrh Mtns, just like there’s plenty of it in the Wasatch on the other side of the Salt Lake Valley.

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early July 2011, Penstemon cyananthus (b), W Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

early July 2011, Penstemon cyananthus (b), W Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

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early July 2010, Penstemon longiflorus (a), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

early July 2010, Penstemon longiflorus (a), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

This species, P. longiflorus, is a southern version of P. cyananthus.  To me, longiflorus is probably not different enough to be considered a separate species.  What do you think?

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early July 2010, Penstemon longiflorus (b), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

early July 2010, Penstemon longiflorus (b), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

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early July 2010, Penstemon longiflorus (c), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

early July 2010, Penstemon longiflorus (c), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

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early July 2010, Penstemon comarrhenus (a), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

early July 2010, Penstemon comarrhenus (a), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

When I stumbled onto my first patch of this species new to me, I did not know what I was looking at & figured it out later.  It grows amid taller plant neighbors than other Penstemons.

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early July 2010, Penstemon comarrhenus (b), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

early July 2010, Penstemon comarrhenus (b), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

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early July 2010, Penstemon comarrhenus (c), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

early July 2010, Penstemon comarrhenus (c), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

Notice this species’ long, narrow leaves & tall stems.

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early July 2010, Penstemon comarrhenus (d), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

early July 2010, Penstemon comarrhenus (d), S Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

This species’ name could reference whales, couldn’t it? Instead, “comarrhenus” refers to the unusual white hairiness on the anthers.  This can be seen on my first two shots, above here.

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late May 2010, Penstemon cyanocaulis (a), W foothills of La Sal Mtns, San Juan Co, UT

late May 2010, Penstemon cyanocaulis (a), W foothills of La Sal Mtns, San Juan Co, UT

This species was new to me when I took these shots.  Notice the (out-of-focus) wavy edges on the basal leaves in the shot below.  That’s uncommon for Penstemons, and was important to my identification of this species.

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late May 2010, Penstemon cyanocaulis (b), W foothills of La Sal Mtns, San Juan Co, UT

late May 2010, Penstemon cyanocaulis (b), W foothills of La Sal Mtns, San Juan Co, UT

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late May 2010, Penstemon cyanocaulis (c), W foothills of La Sal Mtns, San Juan Co, UT

late May 2010, Penstemon cyanocaulis (c), W foothills of La Sal Mtns, San Juan Co, UT

This patch included plants with flowers of 3 main different color shades, and I’m showing those 3 shades here (even though the shot above of the lightest one is out of focus).

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late May 2010, Penstemon cyanocaulis (d), W foothills of La Sal Mtns, San Juan Co, UT

late May 2010, Penstemon cyanocaulis (d), W foothills of La Sal Mtns, San Juan Co, UT

Luck was not with me, as I was trying to photo this P. cyanocaulis.  They were at a great stage for catching their flowers, but the sunlight was very bright so that my shots were either too bright or too shaded.  Maybe I’ll be back in that area again someday when the light is better?

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Watch for more bluish-flowered Penstemons in the next post.

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