(Whipple's Penstemon)


Penstemon whippleanus (white), Indian Peaks, Boulder Co. 6304


Penstemon whippleanus (white), Straight Creek Trail, Summit Co. 8479


Penstemon whippleanus (white), Straight Creek Trail, Summit Co. 8455

Scientific Name Penstemon whippleanus USDA PLANTS Symbol PEWH
Common Name Whipple's Penstemon ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 33793
Family Plantaginaceae (Plantain) formerly Scrophulariaceae SEINet
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Description Life zones and habitat: Montane to alpine (8000 to 13,500 ft); open, dry areas such as clearings, meadows, talus slopes, etc.
Plant: Erect perennial with multiple, leafy stems up to 2 feet tall.
Leaves: Basal leaves lanceolate to ovate 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches long, on petioles and entire to dentate margins; stem leave sessile, lanceolate to oblanceolate, smooth margins, and arranged in opposite pairs, 1 to 2-1/2+ inches long.
Inflorescence: Dark purple (usually) blossoms in 2 to 5 one-side clusters atop and along stem; blossoms pointing slightly downward; also occurs in red-violet, off-white, lilac and bi-colored lilac and white; corolla glandular-hairy on outside, lower lobes with long hairs; staminode with a tuft of yellow hairs at tip; blue anthers smooth.
Bloom Period: June to September.
References: "The Alpine Flora of the Rocky Mountains" by Richard W. Scott, "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and American Southwest.
Notes: To view the purple version of P. whippleanus click here.
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© Tom Lebsack 2023

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County