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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Globe Beardtongue - Penstemon globosus

Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S3S4

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Globe Beardtongue is a glabrous, herbaceous perennial with tufted stems that are 2-6 dm tall and arising from a shallow, branched, woody rootcrown. The narrowly elliptic, basal leaves are up to 15 cm long and have petioles and entire margins. The opposite stem leaves are shorter, more elliptic, and lack petioles. The inflorescence consists of 1-3 dense clusters of short-stalked flowers surrounding the upper portion of the stem at intervals of 1-5 cm. The blue, tubular corolla is 15-20 mm long and is flared and 2-lipped at the mouth. The 5 lance-shaped sepals are 5-8 mm long and usually have broad, white, wavy margins. The anthers are glabrous, and the 2 sacs do not open entirely at their spreading tips.

Flowering at end of July.

Diagnostic Characteristics
The combination of crowded bluish flowers, glabrous inflorescence, and anthers and anther sacs that remain closed at the tips help distinguish this species from others in the area. Penstemon procerus has smaller flowers, and P. rydbergii has anther sacs that open fully. A hand lens may be required for identification.

Species Range

Range Comments
Central and northern ID, southwestern MT, and northeastern OR.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 21

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Moist meadows in the montane and lower subalpine zones.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

  • 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.
    • Heidel, B. L. 1996. Noteworthy collections - Montana. Madrono 43(3):436-440.
    • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Globe Beardtongue — Penstemon globosus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from