CPC Plant Profile: Degener's Beardtongue
Search / Plant Profile / Penstemon degeneri
Plant Profile

Degener's Beardtongue (Penstemon degeneri)

Full view of the plant. Note the long upright stems and opposite leaves. Photo Credit: J. Dawson
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • State: CO
  • Nature Serve ID: 133684
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/08/1989

Penstemon degeneri is one of the rarest and least-known penstemons in Colorado. It was named after its first known collector, Dr. Otto Degener in recognition of his collections and interest in conservation. (Crosswhite 1965) Since then, it has been reported only two more times (Von Bargen 1997). P. degeneri produces dark blue flowers with golden yellow hairs on only the staminode (a non-functional stamen). These flowers are found on very leafy stems that can grow to one foot or more in height. It is generally found in decomposing granitic soils south of the Arkansas River. (Von Bargen 1997)

Participating Institutions
CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.
Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

A narrow endemic, known from 13 occurrences in and around the Arkansas River Canyon in Colorado. ?This?Penstemon?species faces several threats including recreation in US Forst Service lands, grazing, trampling, herbivory, and non-native plants.

Carol Dawson
  • 01/01/2010

Its inherent rarity makes P. degeneri particularly susceptible to stochastic events.

Carol Dawson
  • 01/01/2010

Eight populations are documented.

Carol Dawson
  • 01/01/2010

Germination protocols have been established.

Carol Dawson
  • 01/01/2010

There is no centralized management plan.

Carol Dawson
  • 01/01/2010

Research needs include understanding aspects of this species reproductive biology and ecology, mutualistic relationships and population dynamics. Further surveys are needed to determine its distribution and abundance.

Carol Dawson
  • 01/01/2010

Additional seed collection for long-term seed-storage.


Be the first to post an update!

Taxon Penstemon degeneri
Authority Crosswhite
Family Plantaginaceae
CPC Number 3226
ITIS 33875
Common Names Degener beardtongue | Degener's beardtongue
Associated Scientific Names Penstemon degeneri
Distribution Endemic to central Colorado (Fremont and Custer Cos.) in Arkansas River Canyon. (Spackman 1997)
State Rank
State State Rank
Colorado S2

P. degeneri is known from Pinyon-juniper woodlands and montane grasslands; coarse gravelly or rocky reddish soil with igneous bedrock. It can also be found in in cracks of large rock slabs. Elev. ranges from 6000-9500 ft. (Spackman 1997)

Ecological Relationships

Ecological relationships are unknown.

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bees Confirmed Pollinator Link
Bumble bees Bombus bumblebees Confirmed Pollinator Link
Leaf-cutting bees Megachilid bees Confirmed Pollinator Link
Hummingbirds Hummingbirds Floral Visitor Link
Flies Confirmed Pollinator Link
Wasps Floral Visitor Link
Pseudomasaris vespoides Confirmed Pollinator Link
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

Donate to CPC to Save this Species

CPC secures rare plants for future generations by coordinating on-the-ground conservation and training the next generation of plant conservation professionals. Donate today to help save rare plants from extinction.

Donate Today