Yellow Beardtongue - Penstemon flavescens
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Restricted in Montana to the Bitterroot Range primarily in Ravalli County but also documented from Mineral County. The species can be relatively common or widely scattrered in areas of suitable habitat, though detailed information on the abundance of the species is lacking. More detailed information documenting the abundance, distribution and any potential threats is needed.
- Details on Status Ranking and Review
Score1-2 - Small to Moderate. Population size is imprecisely known but is believed to be >2,000 individuals and <100,000 individuals.
CommentEstimated. Available observation and collection information provides little data on population levels.
Score2 - Regional or State Endemic or Small Montana Range: Generally restricted to an area <100,000 sq. miles (equivalent to 2/3 the size of Montana or less) or Montana contributes 50% or more of the species’ range or populations OR limited to 2-3 Sub-basins in Montana.
Area of Occupancy
Score1 - Moderate: Generally occurring in 11-25 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).
Score1 - Moderate: Species is restricted to a specific habitat that is more widely distributed or to several restricted habitats and is typically dependent upon relatively unaltered, good-quality habitat (C Values of 5-7).
ScoreNA - Rank factor not assessed.
CommentTrends unknown, though populations are likely stable or experiencing only minor declines.
Score0-1 - Low to Medium.
Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.
Raw Conservation Status Score
5 to 8 total points scored out of a possible 16 (Rarity factors and threats only).
Stems erect, 8–30 cm. Herbage glabrous to puberulent on the stem. Basal leaf blades oblanceolate, entire, 1–6 cm long. Stem leaves lanceolate to oblong, 2–5 cm long. Inflorescence of 1 to 3 dense verticillasters, glabrous; bracts scarious. Flowers: calyx 4–8 mm long; sepals ovate, erose- and scarious-margined with an acuminate tip; corolla ochroleucus to light yellow, 12–15 mm long; anthers glabrous, opening across their full length. Capsule 5–7 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
Flowering and fruiting in July and August.
Regional endemic of the Bitterroot Mountains in Ravalli and Mineral Counties, Montana and central Idaho.
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Open or wooded, often rocky slopes well up in the mountains.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans
, Bombus appositus
, Bombus auricomus
, Bombus bifarius
, Bombus centralis
, Bombus fervidus
, Bombus flavifrons
, Bombus frigidus
, Bombus huntii
, Bombus melanopygus
, Bombus mixtus
, Bombus nevadensis
, Bombus rufocinctus
, Bombus sylvicola
, Bombus occidentalis
, Bombus pensylvanicus
, Bombus bimaculatus
, Bombus griseocollis
, Bombus impatiens
, Bombus insularis
, Bombus suckleyi
, Bombus bohemicus
, and Bombus kirbiellus
(Macior 1974, Thorp et al. 1983, Bauer 1983, Mayer et al. 2000, Wilson et al. 2010, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Colla et al. 2011, Koch et al. 2012, Pyke et al. 2012, Miller-Struttmann and Galen 2014, Williams et al. 2014, Tripoldi and Szalanski 2015).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Bauer, P.J. 1983. Bumblebee pollination relationships on the Beartooth Plateau tundra of Southern Montana. American Journal of Botany. 70(1): 134-144.
- Colla, S., L. Richardson, and P. Williams. 2011. Bumble bees of the eastern United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 103 p.
- Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
- Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
- Macior, L.M. 1974. Pollination ecology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Melanderia 15: 1-59.
- Mayer, D.F., E.R. Miliczky, B.F. Finnigan, and C.A. Johnson. 2000. The bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of southeastern Washington. Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia 97: 25-31.
- Miller-Struttmann, N.E. and C. Galen. 2014. High-altitude multi-taskers: bumble bee food plant use broadens along an altitudinal productivity gradient. Oecologia 176:1033-1045.
- Pyke, G.H., D.W. Inouye, and J.D. Thomson. 2012. Local geographic distributions of bumble bees near Crested Butte, Colorado: competition and community structure revisited. Environmental Entomology 41(6): 1332-1349.
- Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
- Tripoldi, A.D. and A.L. Szalanski. 2015. The bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus) of Arkansas, fifty years later. Journal of Melittology 50: doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17161/jom.v0i50.4834
- Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
- Wilson, J.S., L.E. Wilson, L.D. Loftis, and T. Griswold. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist 70(2): 198-207.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Clark, D.V. 1971. Speciation in Penstemon (Scrophulariaceae). Ph.D dissertation. University of Montana, Missoula. 169 pp.
- Forcella, F. 1977. Flora, chorology, biomass and productivity of the Pinus albicaulis-Vaccinium scoparium association. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 99 pp.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Strickler, D. 1997. Northwest penstemons. Flower Press, Columbia Falls, Montana. 191 pages.