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Yellow Pinto Penstemon (Penstemon bicolor var. bicolor)
Perennial Forbs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)

General: Yellow Pinto Penstemon (Penstemon bicolor var. bicolor) is a perennial forb with several tall, upright stems that all arise from the ground, asymmetrical tubular flowers, and a hairy tongue sticking out of each flower (another name for the family is Beardtongue).

The tubular flowers are yellow, somewhat bulbous, and with weak or no streaks (bee guides) on the "petals."

Yellow Pinto Penstemon is an uncommon component of desert vegetation communities on dry, well-drained sandy and gravelly sites on desert flats, in and along washes, and on bajadas in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zone where it is considered to be a sensitive species.

See also the other variety of Pinto Beardtongue, the Rosy Pinto Penstemon (Penstemon bicolor var. roseus).

Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)

Family: Figwort (Scrophulariaceae). Recent genetic research suggests that Penstemon should be included in the Plantaginaceae.

Other Names: Yellow Pinto Beardtongue.

Plant Form: Several tall, upright stems all arising from a tuft of basal leaves on the ground.

Height: Flowering stalk to about 5 feet.

Stems: Round.

Leaves: Lower leaves long, somewhat thickened, generally folded lengthwise, and serrate. Upper leaves on stem opposite, thick; to 4 inches long, triangular, generally clasping around the stem, serrate.

Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)

Flowers: Blooms late spring and early summer. Flower tubular and bilaterally symmetrical; glandular; to about 1-inch long. Floral tube yellow with 5 lobes ("petals"). Upper lip with 2-lobes, lower lip with 3. "Petals" white to cream without streaks. Anther sacs spreading, opening lengthwise; staminode with many yellow hairs.

Seeds: Fruit: oblong capsule. Seeds: small, black.

Habitat: Dry, well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils on flats, in and along washes, on bajadas, and on moderate slopes in the lower mountains.

Elevation: About 3,000 to 5,000 feet.

Distribution: Southern California and southern Nevada.

Comments: This species hybridizes with Palmer's Penstemon, and in hybrids, the flower is large like Palmer's, but the color characteristics are those of Pinto.

Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor) Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor) Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor) Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor) Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor) Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor) Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor) Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Developing fruits
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Hybrid with Palmer's Penstemon
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Hybrid has more bulbous corolla tube than pure plants
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Hybrid has more bulbous corolla tube than pure plants
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Hybrid has more bulbous corolla tube than pure plants
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Hybrid has more bulbous corolla tube than pure plants
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Hybrid has more bulbous corolla tube than pure plants
Yellow Pinto Beardtongue (Penstemon bicolor bicolor)
Hybrid has more bulbous corolla tube than pure plants

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 160612

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