Etymology: Penstemon: from the Greek pente, "five," and stemon, "stamen," for the fifth stamen, referring to the staminode, or just an allusion to the fact that it has five stamens
Plants: erect, biennial/perennial, 12"-40" tall forb, smooth throughout
Leaves: opposite, entire, becoming shorter and somewhat clasping towards the top, waxy-looking
Flowers: pink, 5-parted, to 2" long, tubular, smooth inside and out, widely flaring lips; inflorescence a 6"-12" cluster of 2-4 short-stalked flowers in the leaf axil; blooms May-June
Habitat: full sun; dry; prairies, inland sands; in sandy, gravelly soil
Conservation Status: Native
Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 4 Atlas of the Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora: by T.S. Cochrane & H.H. Iltis: habitat, distribution infomation / flowering and fruiting times USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS): Images of seeds, fruits, embryos, etc. Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"