WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Stems grow 6–14-inches tall, either erect or trailing and rooting at nodes to form spreading mats. Pale lavender to blue flowers shaped like an inflated tube grow in one-sided clusters. Note the short, narrow leaves, glandular-hairy herbage, white hairs on the lower lip of the flowers, and the beardtongue (staminode) with a hairy, yellow tip.


FLOWERS: May–August. Clusters with 1–2 flowers along one-side of upper stems; flowers 3/8–3/4-inch long (15–20 mm), the tube abruptly inflates to bell-shaped, opening with 2 lips; the upper lip has 2 petal-like lobes that arch upward; the lower lip has 3 lobes project downward and are lined with white-hairs; the whitish throat has 2 ridges and red guidelines; staminode (beardtongue) is included within throat, with the tip covered with yellow hairs.


LEAVES: Basal and opposite on stem. Blades linear to narrowly lance-shaped, 3/8–1-inch long (1–25 cm), to 1/8-inch wide (1–3 mm), same-sized up the stem; tip pointed, margins entire.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly, volcanic soils, roadsides; sagebrush, pinyon-juniper-oak, ponderosa woodlands.


ELEVATION: 4,600–8,400 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CO, NM, UT.


SIMILAR SPECIES: 3 varieties with slight differences in NM. Pineleaf Penstemon, P. pinifolius, the only other penstemon in NM with short, narrow leaves has slender red flowers and grows in sw mountains.


NM COUNTIES: Widespread in the western half of NM in low- to mid-elevation habitats: Catron, Cibola, Colfax, Dona Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, McKinley, Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, San Juan, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Valencia.

NARROWLEAF  PENSTEMON

PENSTEMON  LINARIOIDES

Plantain Family, Plantaginaceae (formerly in Scrophulariaceae)

Perennial herb

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• The lower lip has white hairs and dark guide lines.

• The  beardtongue (staminode) is inside the throat and covered with yellow hairs (arrow).

The flower tube abruptly expands into a bell shape.

The narrow, linear leaves, opposite along the stem, reach 1-inch long.

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