Penstemon acaulis var. yampaensis
Author: Penl.

Yampa beardtongue

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Close up of Penstemon acualis var. yampaensis by Mike Kintgen
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Taxonomic Comments

= Penstemon yampaensis. The Flora of North America (1993+) and Ackerfield (2012) place this genus in the Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family).

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G2
State rank: S2
Federal protection status: None
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Penstemon acualis var. yampaensis: artwork in progress

General description: Penstemon acaulis var. yampaensis is a low-growing, non-succulent, mat-forming perennial, completely lacking aerial stems, but with a stout subterranean caudex. The leaves are narrowly oblanceolate, scabro-pubescent with papilliform or spiculate hairs, a prominent midrib and two or more lateral veins. The flowers are sub-sessile (on very short branches arising from the basal rosette of leaves), usually 4 (2-6), lilac with a strong bluish tinge when older, glandular-pubescent externally, and golden (to whitish) bearded in the throat below. The capsules are nearly globose, glabrous at maturity, with 2-4 seeds per capsule (Painter 1980; Ackerfield 2012; Weber and Wittmann 2012).

Look Alikes: Similar to Penstemon caespitosus (Painter 1980), which has creeping aerial stems, while P. acaulis var. yampaensis completely lacks aerial stems (Weber and Wittmann 2012).

Phenology: Flowering late May to early July. Fruiting early July to early August (Painter 1980, Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Penstemon acaulis var. yampaensis housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Penstemon acualis var. yampaensis: not available

Penstemon acaulis var. yampaensis is found on dry slopes, limestone outcrops, gypsum hills, or barren shale ridges in sagebrush and pinyon-juniper communities. The plants are found in gently sloping to flat areas with fine sandy soil sometimes reported as calcareous (Painter 1980). Soils are usually sandy, but a few records are from sites with loam, silty clay, and clay loam soils. Geology is variable: Green River, Brown's Park, Moenkopi, Weber, and Mancos Formations (O'Kane 1986). Commonly associated taxa include Artemisia tridentata, Sitanion histrix, Oryzopsis hymenoides, Allium acuminatum, Calochortus gunnisonii, Opuntia, Ipomopsis, Physaria, Linum, Arenaria, Draba, Astragalus, Erigeron, Juniperus, Poa, Lupinus, Calylophus, Pinus, and Chrysothamnus.

Elevation Range: 5,627 - 8,281 feet (1,715 - 2,524 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Penstemon acualis var. yampaensis in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Penstemon acualis var. yampaensis in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: This species is known from Daggett County, Utah and Moffat County, Colorado (Welsh et al. 1993).
State range: In Colorado, only known from Moffat County. Also known from one county in Utah.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

May be threatened by off-road vehicle use, and competition from non-native plants.

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2012. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
    • Goodrich, S. and E. Neese. 1986. Uinta Basin Flora. U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Ogden, UT.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
    • Lavender, A.E., M.M. Fink, S.E. Linn, D.M. Theobald. 2011. Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection v9 Database. Colorado Natural Heritage Program and Geospatial Centroid, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (30 September).
    • O'Kane, S., M. Zaidlicz and S. Dinke. 1986. Field Survey of Plant Species of Special Concern at Little Snake Resource Area.
    • Painter Beth. 1980. Status Report on Penstemon yampaensis. Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory.
    • Penland, C.W.T. 1958. Two New Species of Penstemon in Colorado. Madrono. 14:153-160.
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.
    • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins (eds.) 1993. A Utah flora. 2nd edition. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah. 986 pp.

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