Penstemons of the San Gabriel Mountains

Introduction
Key
Purple or Blue Flowers
Scarlet Flowers
Sources


Introduction

Penstemons in the San Gabriel Mountains have tubular flowers, colored either scarlet or a shade of purple or blue, and opposite (paired) leaves. The flowers have five petals usually divided into two lips--the upper one of two lobed (rounded) petals and the lower of three cleft (cut) petals. The name, Penstemon, comes from "five stamens". Sometimes one of them is hairy or bearded giving rise to the common name for some species, Beardtongue.

The red-flowered penstemons in the High Country are often pollinated by hummingbirds, sometimes of the genus Selasphorus. It's a gorgeous site to come upon while walking the highest trails--red flowers, red hummingbirds. Exquisite!

The following descriptions are intended to be useful to hikers and discuss only structures and features that are visible without magnification, distinguishable without measurement and understandable without using a dictionary.


Key

Purple or Blue Flowers
Scarlet Flowers


Purple Flowers


Scarlet Flowers

Shrubby or vinelike

Not Shrubby


Sources

CalFlora Occurrence Database: Advanced Query search for Penstemon in Los Angeles County.

A California Flora by Philip A. Munz. University of California Press, 1968.

Flowering Plants, The Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal and Chaparral Regions of Southern California by Nancy Dale, Capra Press, 1986

The Jepson Manual, Higher Plants of California edited by James C. Hickman, University of California Press, 1993


Go to: Plants of the San Gabriel Mountains


Copyright © 2000 by Jane Strong and Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
http://tchester.org/sgm/plants/penstemon.html
Comments and feedback: Jane Strong | Tom Chester
Updated 13 July 2001.