Graham beardtongue (Penstemon grahamii)
Penstemon grahamii is an herbaceous perennial plant within the sub genus Cristati (N. Holmgren in Cronquist et al. 1984). Each plant has one to three stems arising from a taproot. These stems are 7 18 centimeters (cm) (2.8 7.0 inches [in.]) tall. Leaves are borne in pairs opposite each other on the stem and are of two different forms. The lower most pair, the basal leaves, are broadly oval about 2 cm (0.75 in.) wide and petiolate (attached to the stem with a petiole). The remaining leaves, usually two to six pairs, are the cauline leaves. The cauline leaves are oblanceolate to elliptic 2 4 cm long (0.8 1.5 in.) long, 0.6 1.5 cm (0.25 0.6 in.) wide and are sessile (attached to the stem without a petiole). All leaves are entire (smooth margins without lobes) and glabrous (without hairs). P. grahamii has an inflorescence of 3 to 20 dark lavender or pinkish flowers (although occasionally just 1 or 2 flowers are present). Flowers have four fertile stamens and one prominent infertile staminole. Fertile statements lie along the roof of the corolla with U shaped anthers on either side, and extended about the corolla lip. The staminole is densely bearded with golden orange pubescence. Seed capsules are heart-shaped structures, approximately 8-10 mm (0.03-0.04 in.) in length.
- States/US Territories in which the Graham beardtongue is known to or is believed to occur: Colorado , Utah
- US Counties in which the Graham beardtongue is known to or is believed to occur: View All
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|Mountain-Prairie Region (Region 6)|
» Candidate Information
Former Candidate Status
» Conservation Plans
No conservation plans have been created for Graham beardtongue
No petition findings have been published for the Graham beardtongue.
» Life History
Penstemon grahamii is restricted to calcareous soils derived from oil shale barrens of the Green River Formation in the Uinta Basin of northeastern Utah and adjacent Colorado (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004). Graham beardtongue grows on semi-barren knolls, ridges, and steep slopes in a mix of fragmented white shale and silty clay soils associated with the Parachute Creek and Evacuation Creek members of the Green River Formation. It grows in sparsely vegetated communities of pinyon-juniper and desert shrub at elevations ranging from 1,430 to 2,060 meters (4,690 to 6,760 feet). P. grahamii is frequently associated with Pinus edulis (pinyon pine), Juniperus osteosperma (juniper), Atriplex confertifolia (shadscale), Artemesia spp. (such as Wyoming bigsage and low sage), Yucca harrimaniae (yucca), Eriogonum spp. (such as ephedera and crispleaf buckwheat), and Forsellesia meionandra (greasebrush) (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).
Pollinators of Penstemon grahamii include the bees Anthophora lesquerellae, Osmia sanrafaelae, the sweat bees Lasioglossum sisymbrii and Dialictus sp., and the masarid wasp Pseudomasaris vespoides (V. Tepedino, Utah State University, pers. comm. 2005). In addition, a bumblebee of the genus Bombus (Bombus huntii) (V. Tepedino, pers. comm. 2005) visits the species (L. England, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pers obs. 2003). The most consistent pollinator of these species is likely to be Pseudomasaris vespoides. This unusual wasp (it is a member of the only “vegetarian” wasp family known to science) is an extreme specialist of Penstemon flowers. It collects and feeds its offspring only Penstemon pollen, though it may visit other plant genera for nectar (V. Tepedino, Utah State University, pers. comm. 2005).
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