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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Wax-leaf Beardtongue - Penstemon nitidus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Stems erect, 10–35 cm. Herbage glabrous, glaucous. Basal leaf blades thick, oblanceolate to oblong, entire, 2–10 cm long. Stem leaves lanceolate to obovate, 1–6 cm long. Inflorescence of 3 to 10 nearly contiguous, dense, glabrous verticillasters; bracts lanceolate to ovate. Flowers: calyx 3–6 mm long; sepals lanceolate, acuminate, slightly scarious-margined; corolla blue to lavender, 12–16 mm long; anthers glabrous, opening across their length. Capsule 6–15 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are variety nitidus and variety polyphyllus (Pennell) Cronquist.

Species Range

Range Comments
BC to MB south to WA, CO and ND (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 35

(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)

Plains, hills and slopes (Dorn 1984).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • 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:
Wax-leaf Beardtongue — Penstemon nitidus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from