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Desert Beardtongue
Penstemon fruticiformis
About Desert Beardtongue (Penstemon fruticiformis) Nurseries Show All Photos Penstemon fruticiformis is a species of penstemon known by the common name Death Valley beardtongue. It is native to the deserts and nearby mountains of eastern California and western Nevada, where it grows in rocky scrub and woodland habitat. It is known from scattered occurrences around Death Valley, and only one of the two varieties occurs on the Nevada side of the border. It is a perennial herb producing spreading, multibranched, hairless and waxy stems 30 to 60 centimeters tall. The thick leaves are generally lance-shaped, folded and rolled, and up to 6.5 centimeters in length. The flower cluster produces several white or pale pinkish-lavender flowers between 2 and 3 centimeters long. The mouth of the flower bears a stark, dark line on each of its three lower lobes, nectar guides for its pollinators which probably include native bumble bees.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1 - 2 ft (0.3 - 0.6 m)

Flower Color
Lavender, Pink, White

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Gravelly washes and canyon floors

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
1337' - 7984'

Annual Precip. ?
3.4" - 35.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.21" - 3.56"

Coldest Month ?
33.6° F - 54.1° F

Hottest Month ?
56.7° F - 84.6° F

Humidity ?
2.97 vpd - 39.60 vpd


Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

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

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Death Valley Beardtongue

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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