Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Penstemon palmeri, Palmer's Penstemon

Palmer's Penstemon has beautiful fragrant flowers on stalks growing up to 4 or 5 feet tall. Penstemon palmeriPalmer's Penstemon can have pink, violet or white colored flowers which bloom from March to September. Penstemon palmeriPalmer's Penstemon is a native perennial herb with light green or grayish leaves which are paired along the flowering stems. Penstemon palmeriPalmer's Penstemon is found primarily in the southwestern and northwestern United States in a multitude of habitats. Penstemon palmeri

Scientific Name: Penstemon palmeri
Common Name: Palmer's Penstemon
Also Called: Palmer Penstemon
Family: Scrophulariaceae, Figwort or Snapdragon Family - Moving to Plantaginaceae
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 4 or 5 feet more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; plants glabrous, glaucous; suffrutescent
Leaves: Green, light green, grayish; basal and cauline leaves; leaves paired; leaf shape variable, oblong, triangular, leaves clasping; margins dentate.
Flower Color: Pink, pale pink, lavender; flowers showy, fragrant; flowering stalk is glandular hairy; corolla inflated (puffed-up) from tube; stamenoid exserted, long-bearded, yellow; flowers along stems narrow clusters.
Flowering Season: March to September; May to June in California and Texas.
Elevation: 3,500 to 6,500 feet in Arizona and Texas; 3,500 to 7,000 feet in California.

Habitat Preferences: Often in washes, roadsides, canyon floors, rocky-areas, creosote-bush, chaparral, sagebrush and pinyon communities.

Recorded Range: Penstemon palmeri is found in the southwestern and parts of the northwestern United States in; AZ, CA, ID, NM, NV, UT. In Arizona is occurs in the northern ½ of the state with few records in Apache County.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Penstemon palmeri.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 250 species and 393 accepted taxa overall for Penstemon. World wide, The Plant List includes 301 accepted species names and includes a further 188 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States, Arizona there are 43 species of Penstemon, in California there are 55 species, Nevada has 50 species, New Mexico has 47 species, Texas has 24 species, Utah has 73 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

There are 3 varieties in Penstemon palmeri;
Penstemon palmeri var. eglandulosus, Scented Beardtongue (AZ, UT);
Penstemon palmeri var. macranthus, Scented Beardtongue (NV);
Penstemon palmeri var. palmeri, Palmer's Penstemon (AZ, CA, ID, NM, NV, UT).

Comments:Penstemon palmeri has large showy fragrant flowers attractive to native honey bees.

Penstemon palmeri has been made into a poultice and applied to snakebite sores by North American indigenous peoples.
Navajo, Kayenta Drug, Snake Bite Remedy, Poultice of plant applied to snakebite sores.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 08/20/2016, updated format 10/03/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 08/18/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 08/17/2016).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: ]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 08/20/2016),7483,0,7541
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 08/20/2016).