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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Payette Beardtongue - Penstemon payettensis

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S1
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank: 1

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known in Montana from only two small occurrrences in close proximity on the Bitterroot National Forest.
Spotted knapweed invasion, fire suppression and road construction/maintenance are all concerns for the viability of the species in Montana. Additional data on the species in Montana are needed.
General Description
Payette Beardtongue is a stout, herbaceous perennial with 1 to several stems that are 2-7 dm tall and arising from a compact, branched rootcrown. The clustered basal leaves each have a long petiole and an elliptic, entire-margined blade that is up to 15 cm long. The opposite stem leaves mostly lack petioles and are shorter than but nearly as wide as the basal leaves. Foliage is glabrous and thick. The inflorescence consists of several clusters of short-stalked flowers in the axils of reduced upper leaves. The tubular corolla is flared and 2-lipped at the mouth, 18-28 mm long, and bright blue. The 5 lance-shaped calyx segments are 5-8 mm long and have a long tip and a whitish margin below. The 4 anthers are glabrous with small teeth along the line of opening.

Flowering in July.

Diagnostic Characteristics
There are many species of Penstemonin our area; a technical manual should be consulted for identification. Penstemon procerus has smaller flowers, and other similar species lack the teeth along the anther sac sutures. A hand lens will be required for identification.

Species Range

Range Comments
Northeast OR, central ID, and west-central MT. Regional endemic.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 11

(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)

Open slopes in the montane zone.

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • 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:
Payette Beardtongue — Penstemon payettensis.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from