Plants perennial, mat-forming; stems 1-5 dm tall, tufted, leafy, pubescent; leaves oblanceolate, 2-4 mm wide (possibly with flattened, scale-like, appressed hairs); inflorescence glandular; corolla (probably) blue-lavender, 16-20 mm long, floor 2-ridged, abruptly expanded, base of lower lobes strongly bearded; anthers completely dehiscent but not explanate; staminode bearded most of its length (?). Flowers June to October.
This subspecies differs from ssp. linarioides by having oblanceolate rather than more or less linear leaves. The otherwise similar species Penstemon crandallii does not occur in southern New Mexico and its leaf surface has fine erect or retrorse hairs.
New Mexico, Grant County; Arizona, Greenlee County; in and near the Gila River valley in both states.
Limestone cliffs in piñon-juniper woodland; 1,830-1,980 m (6,000-6,500 ft).
This plant is apparently very rare. Mining activity threatens the only known population, which is in Arizona. More searches are needed to determine the distribution, abundance, and habitat needs of this taxon.
Keck, D.D. 1937. Studies in Penstemon IV. The section Ericopsis. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 64:378.
Nisbet, G.T. and R.C. Jackson. 1960. The genus Penstemon in New Mexico. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 41(5):691-759.