Blue or Purple Flowers
Tubular or Bell-Like Flowers )
Figwort Family (Scrophulariaceae)
Habitat: Montane to Subalpine Dry Areas
Height: Up to 30 cm
Description: There are many blue/purple penstemons in the Rockies. They are characterized by a tubular flowers with two lips. Visually, it appears like the tubular flower has two petals on the top, and three on the bottom. Each plant has 5 stamens, but one of them is sterile. It is adorned with a tuft of hairs. This is namesake beard-tongue. The flowers usually occur in groups near the top of the plant.
Slender blue beard-tongue (P. procerus) is our most common. The thin, delicate stem rises with pairs of opposite, smooth-margined, narrow, clasping leaves. The flower terminates with several dense whorls of tubular blue, five parted flowers. The flowers have two lips, with the upper divided into two sections, and the lower into three. Often, there will be several whorls with up to 2.5 cm between them.
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