Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands
(a.k.a. Rocky Mountain penstemon, beardtongue, penstemon strictus)
Penstemon species are native to the United States, with different species occupying different geographical areas. The plants are common in the west, where they provide forage for wildlife, particularly deer, antelope, and birds. They are considered of minimal grazing value for livestock, but they provide erosion control and diversity in grass and range ecosystems.
Penstemons display a variety of colors, but red, purple, and pink are the most common in the Navajo rangelands. The flowers can be distinguished by their consistent shape, which is tubular with a two-lobed upper lip and a three-lobed lower lip. The flowers have five stamens, four of which are fertile (pollen-bearing). The common name "beardtongue" derives from the fuzz or hair often found on the sterile stamen, though not all species of pentstemon display this trait.
Species of penstemon on the Navajo Endangered Species List:
- Penstemon navajoa, Navajo penstemon (Group 3, Navajo Endangered Species List)
Copyright 2018 New Mexico State University. Individual photographers retain all rights to their images. Partially funded by the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (westernsare.org; 435.797.2257), project EW15-023. Programs and projects supported by Western SARE are equally open to all people. NMSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action educator and employer..
NMSU does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, retaliation, serious medical condition, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, spousal affiliation or protected veteran status in its programs and activities as required by equal opportunity/affirmative action regulations and laws and university policy and rules. For more information please read the NMSU Notice of Non-discrimination (opens in new window).