FWS Focus


Blowout penstemon is a short-lived perennial, frequently occurring in large, multi-stemmed clumps containing flowering and vegetative stems. Vegetative stems are commonly up to 1 foot tall, but can sometimes reach nearly 2 feet. Vegetative stems are lax and curved upward from the base. Plants often root from stem nodes if stem nodes are buried in sand. The opposite, linear leaves are lax, 1 to 8 inches long and 1/4 inch to 1 inch wide, and are attached directly to the stem with no petiole. The leaves are greenish-blue and waxy, with no hairs, parallel veins and smooth edges. The flowering stems are stout, up to about 1/2 inch in diameter, and usually 6 to 18 inches tall. Leaves on the flowering stems are up to 3 inches wide, lance-shaped and stiff. The flowering head is cylindrical with 16 to 80 flowers arranged in several whorls. Each whorl is located directly above a pair of stiff, overlapping, leaf-like bracts. The bracts are longer than they are wide with heart-shaped bases. The individual flowers are comprised of a 1 to 1-1/2 inches long, tube-shaped corolla that is milky blue, milky lavender or, rarely, white or pink. The upper lip of the corolla has 2 lobes; the lower lip has 3 lobes. Distinct magenta lines inside the corolla guide insects to the nectar. Source: Stubbendieck, J., J. A. Lamphere, and J. B. Fitzgerald. 1997. Nebraska's Threatened and Endangered Species: Blowout Penstemon. NebraskaLand Magazine brochure series. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Scientific Name

Penstemon haydenii
Common Name
blowout penstemon
blowout beardtongue
FWS Category
Flowering Plants

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



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