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Yellow Bush Penstemon
Keckiella antirrhinoides
About Yellow Bush Penstemon (Keckiella antirrhinoides) Nurseries Show All Photos Keckiella antirrhinoides (formerly Penstemon antirrhinoides) is a species of flowering shrub in the plantain family known by the common names snapdragon penstemon and chaparral beardtongue. It is native to the chaparral, deserts, and pinyon-juniper woodlands of California, Arizona, and adjacent Baja California. This shrub grows one half to two and a half meters tall, with spreading branches. The oppositely-arranged leaves are up to 2 centimeters long and are lance-shaped or narrow ovals. They are deciduous during dry periods. The plant produces branchlike flower clusters which bear snapdragon-like flowers. Each hairy flower is about 2 centimeters wide, with three lower lobes which lie flat or curve down and two upper lobes which join to form a curved lip. Inside the flower are shiny filamentous stamens holding anthers and a flat, densely hairy sterile stamen called a staminode. The flowers are light yellow and dry to nearly black. The plant will often drop many leaves after flowering.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1.6 - 6.6 ft (0.49 - 2 m)

Max. Width
2 - 4 ft (0.6 - 1.2 m)

Fountain, Rounded

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate

Summer Deciduous

Linear, dark green, glossy, 5-20 mm long, with smooth edges

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry rocky slopes, canyons, and mesas of southern California primarily in Chaparral but also extending into Pinyon-Juniper Woodland and Creosote Bush Scrub

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
11' - 8613'

Annual Precip. ?
4.4" - 29.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.19" - 3.15"

Coldest Month ?
36.3° F - 59.2° F

Hottest Month ?
57.7° F - 87.5° F

Humidity ?
0.89 vpd - 38.31 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils as long as adequate drainage is provided

Soil Texture

Soil PH
6.0 - 7.5

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Companion Plants
Chaparral associates include California lilacs, California Buckwheat, Scrub Oaks, Southern Honeysuckle, and Chaparral Yucca. Desert associates include Creosote Bush, Brittlebush and Desert Agave. Pinyon-Juniper associates include Pinus spp, California Juniper and Big Sagebrush

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees

Butterflies ?

Sympistis fortis Image
Sympistis fortisSympistis fortis
Sympistis singularis Image
Sympistis singularisSympistis singularis

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low, Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?

No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. (Emery and Frey 1971).

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Chaparral Beardtongue, Chaparral Bush-beardtongue, Snapdragon Penstemon

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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