Littleflower penstemon, pincushion penstemon
The Rocky Mountain states and all states to the west, except Arizona
Meadows, open woodland, alpine slopes, from 1,500 to 13,000 feet
Obovate to oblanceolate or lanceolate, basal and (opposite) cauline
Identifying features of penstemon procerus include the hairless anthers and hairless inflorescence, the relatively broad leaves, and the clustered flowers, in a spherical grouping at the top of the stem, and one or more closely-spaced whorls just below. This species has a wide distribution over a large elevation range, from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado across to California and the Pacific Northwest, resulting in variation of such aspects as height, leaf width and pubescence; six varieties are recognized.
Other plant parts are also usually glabrous, though the lower stem may have a covering of very short hairs. Leaves grow around the base and all the way along the stem; stem leaves are smaller. Calyx loves are ovate, quite pointed at the tip, and are much shorter than the tubular corolla, which widens only slightly from the base, opening to a two-lobed upper lip and a longer, three-lobed lower lip; all lobes are recurved by a similar amount. The base of the lower lobes is whitish on the inside. The tip of the infertile stamen usually has a few orange hairs.