Penstemon scariosus var. albifluvis
|White River penstemon|
|(England) N. Holmgren|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Denver Botanic Gardens
Red Butte Garden and Arboretum
The conservation of Penstemon scariosus var. albifluvis is fully sponsored.
Michelle DePrenger-Levin contributed to this Plant Profile.
The White River penstemon is found along the White River that flows westward from the Flat Tops area of Western Colorado until it joins the Green River in Utah. Both the common and scientific name of this species is named after its location (albus, meaning white, and fluvis meaning river).
This species is a perennial herb that grows from 15 to 30 cm tall, producing lavender to pale-blue flowers from late May to June (State of Utah 2002).
Penstemon albifluvis is very similar to Penstemon scariosus but was described as a separate species in 1982. Later, penstemon specialist Noel Holmgren decided that the former could be treated as a variety of the latter. There is still a need for studies clarifying the taxonomy this species.
Distribution & Occurrence
Mixed desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities, on sparsely vegetated shale slopes of the Green River Formation. Elev. 5000-7200 ft.( Neese and Smith 1982, Spackman et al. 1997).
P. scariosus var. albifluvis is associated with: Artemisia tridentate (Big Basin Sagebrush), Oryzopsis hymenoides (Indian ricegrass), Bromus tectorum (Downy brome), Chrysothamnus nauseosus (Rabbitbrush), Cirsium sp. (Thistle), Sitanion hystrix (squirreltail, Poaceae), Euphorbia sp. (Spurge), Eriogonum sp. (Buckwheat, Polygonaceae), Asteraceae (Sunflower Family). (Atwood 1991, Neese and Smith 1982).
|Exact number are unknown.|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Weber, W.A. 1987. Colorado Flora: Western Slope. Boulder, Colorado: Colorado Associated University Press. 530p.
Welsh, S.L.; Atwood, N.D.; Goodrich, S.; Higgins, L.C. 1993. A Utah flora. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young Univ. 986p.
Welsh, S.L.; Atwood, N.D.; Higgins, L.C.; Goodrich, S. 1987. Utah Flora, Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs, No. 9. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University.