header
Home
About NMRPTC
Contacts
Rare Plant List
County List
Agency Status
Photo List
About the List
History of Changes
Species Considered, but dropped
Photographers, Illustrators and Authors
Image Usage Guidelines
Sponsors
Discussion Group
Useful Literature
Links

Penstemon superbus
(Superb beardtongue)

[taxon report][distribution map][all photos][line drawing]



Family: Scrophulariaceae

Scientific Name: Penstemon superbus A. Nelson

Synonyms:

Vernacular Name: Superb beardtongue

R-E-D Code: 1-1-2

Description: Plants perennial, glaucous (bluish); stems 3-12 dm tall; basal leaves petiolate; cauline leaves cordate-clasping or connate-perfoliate; inflorescence narrow, often more than half plant height, glandular or glabrous; flowers in dense fascicles separated by long internodes; corolla orange-pink to scarlet, glandular outside, very obscurely bilabiate, throat only slightly expanded, 17-22 mm long; stamens included; anthers glabrous, explanate; staminode bearded near tip with a few short hairs. Flowering April-June.

Similar Species: This species is unlikely to be confused with any other penstemon in the area because of its size, glaucous foliage, inflorescence architecture, unique flower color, and explanate anthers


Distribution: Grant and Hidalgo counties, New Mexico; Cochise, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Pima counties, Arizona; and adjacent Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico.

Habitat: Rocky canyons, washes, grasslands; sandy or gravelly soil; piƱon/juniper and oak woodlands; 950-1770 m (3100-5800 ft)

Remarks: Some earlier botanists occasionally identified certain specimens, including one by Metcalfe from Grant County, New Mexico, as P. wrightii, a Chihuahuan Desert endemic, which is very similar.

Conservation Considerations: This beautiful and conspicuous plant may be suffering from over-collection. Otherwise, current land uses apparently pose no threat to it.

Important Literature (*Illustration):

Heflin, J. 1997. Penstemons: The beautiful beardtongues of New Mexico. Jackrabbit Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Nisbet, G.T. and R.C. Jackson. 1960. The genus Penstemon in New Mexico. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 41(5):691-759.

Nelson, A. 1904. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 17:100.

Gray, A. 1859. Scrophulariaceae [as P. puniceus]. In: W.H. Emory, Report on the United States and Mexican boundary survey, Vol 2, Part 1, general botany (by J. Torrey):113.

Information Compiled By: David Bleakly, 1999


Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
©2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council