Western Desert Penstemon
Color: Violet to blue-purple
Common name: Mojave beardtongue, Western Desert Penstemon
Latin name: Penstemon incertus
Height: 8–40 inches
Description: Mojave beardtongue is a rounded, branching, erect shrub reaching one meter in maximum height. The glandular inflorescence produces several wide-mouthed tubular or funnel-shaped flowers measuring 2 to 3 cm long. The flowers are blue-purple, glandular on the outer surface and mostly hairless inside except for the hairy sterile stamen.
Leaf: The thick leaves are linear to lance-shaped with rolled, untoothed edges and reaching up to 7 centimeters.
Range: s High Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area, San Bernardino Mountains, nw Desert Mountains
Habitat: Generally sandy soil along washes, canyon slopes, in sagebrush scrub, Joshua-tree and pinyon/juniper woodlands
Elevation: 1000–1700 m.
Flowering time: May–Jun
Notes: Penstemon incertus, a dicot, is a shrub that is native to California and is endemic (limited) to California alone. This photo was taken on May 8, 2004 in the Mary Dedecker Native Plant Garden at the Inyo County Museum, Independence, California.
We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.
Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.
Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...
What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports
Related DesertUSA Pages
- How to Turn Your Smartphone into a Survival Tool
- 26 Tips for Surviving in the Desert
- Death by GPS
- 7 Smartphone Apps to Improve Your Camping Experience
- Maps Parks and More
- Desert Survival Skills
- How to Keep Ice Cold in the Desert
- Desert Rocks, Minerals & Geology Index
- Preparing an Emergency Survival Kit
- Get the Best Hotel and Motel Rates
Share this page on Facebook:
DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)
The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms