CPC Plant Profile: Death Valley Beardtongue
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Plant Profile

Death Valley Beardtongue (Penstemon fruticiformis ssp. amargosae)

This shot shows a group of Death Valley Beardtongue in bloom. Photo Credit: Bart O'Brien
  • Global Rank: T3 - Vulnerable
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • State: CA, NV
  • Nature Serve ID: 154651
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/25/1988

Penstemon fruticiformis ssp. amargosae is a short, shrubby perennial with pale-pink to whitish flowers containing strongly lined lavender nectar guides that signal pollinators to a nectar reward. (See CalFlora (2000) for photos). This Penstemon grows in gravely washes, canyon floors and juniper/pine woodlands in Nevada (Hickman 1993).

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  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 3 accessions of Penstemon fruticiformis var. amargosae in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 88516 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.

  • 08/05/2020
  • Seed Collection

Based on an August 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden has collected 3 seed accessions of Penstemon fruticiformis var. amargosae from 2 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 5 maternal plants

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Penstemon fruticiformis ssp. amargosae is known from Inyo and San Bernardino Counties, California, and Clark and Nye Counties, Nevada.

  • 01/01/2010

Threats include habit fragmentation, degradation and over grazing.

  • 01/01/2010

The Nevada Natural Heritage Program (NNHP 2001) reports 17 or 21 occurrences in the state, with number of individuals per occurrence unknown.

  • 01/01/2010

There is no current active research for this Penstemon.

  • 01/01/2010

There is currently no formalized management plan for this particular species, however, plans to modify grazing practices in sensitive areas may aid in conserving Penstemon fruticiformis.

  • 01/01/2010

Monitoring populations, understanding reproductive biology and impact of different grazing levels would aid in conservation efforts.


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Taxon Penstemon fruticiformis ssp. amargosae
Authority Keck
Family Plantaginaceae
CPC Number 3234
ITIS 33895
Common Names Amargosa beardtongue | Amargosa penstemon | Death Valley beardtongue
Associated Scientific Names Penstemon fruticiformis ssp. amargosae | Penstemon fruticiformis var. amargosae
Distribution Historical distribution for Penstemon fruticiformis ranges from one or two counties in Nevada (Nye and possible Clark counties) west into the Death Valley region of California.
State Rank
State State Rank
California S2
Nevada S2

This Penstemon grows in gravely washes, canyon floors and juniper/pine woodlands in Nevada (Hickman 1993).

Ecological Relationships

It is likely that Penstemon fruticiformis provides nectar for native bumblebees. Other ecological relationships remain to be explored.

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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