Penstemon lemhiensis - (Keck) Keck & Cronq.
Lemhi Beardtongue
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Penstemon lemhiensis (Keck) Keck & Cronq. (TSN 33936)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.149938
Element Code: PDSCR1L3N0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Figwort Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Scrophulariales Scrophulariaceae Penstemon
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Penstemon lemhiensis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28Nov1997
Global Status Last Changed: 16Dec1988
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: About 100 element occurrences, but most of them contain fewer than 30 individuals. Restricted range, only in Idaho and Montana. Some of the major populations have shown significant declines, attributed to drought conditions. Threatened by knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) invasion, indiscriminate herbicide spraying, suppresion of fire and other natural disturbance regimes, grazing, logging, and potential mining activity. Some protection is afforded to good quality populations that occur on public lands.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Idaho (S3), Montana (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Regional endemic of Lemhi county, Idaho; and Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Ravalli and Silverbow counties, Montana.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: 102 element occurrences in Idaho and 85 in Montana (1999). The tally is treated as less than 100 because EO specifications have not been applied consistently throughout and D-ranked EOs are not appropriate to include in the tally. Of the current total, 93 occurrences are made up of fewer than 30 individuals, an undetermined number have severe knapweed infestation, an undetermined number warrant merging, and an undetermined number are restricted to roadcuts.

Population Size Comments: Total number of individuals is between 3,000-10,000 and total acreage is between 2,000-10,000 acres.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Noxious weed invasion (primarily knapweed, Centaurea maculosa), indiscriminate spraying of herbicides, curtailment of natural disturbance regimes, vulnerability to grazing and logging under some conditions, and widespread potential mining activity warrant conservative ranking of threats.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Some of the largest populations have shown major decline while others are stable. Widespread population declines are attributed to prevailing drought conditions since the late 1980s, possibly exacerbated by sagebrush encroachment.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Seedling establishment is the critical demographic stage, strongly affected by climate and surface conditions.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Regional endemic of Lemhi county, Idaho; and Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Ravalli and Silverbow counties, Montana.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ID, MT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Lemhi (16059)
MT Beaverhead (30001), Deer Lodge (30023), Ravalli (30081), Silver Bow (30093)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Red Rock (10020001)+, Beaverhead (10020002)+, Big Hole (10020004)+, Jefferson (10020005)+
17 Bitterroot (17010205)+, Middle Salmon-Panther (17060203)+, Lemhi (17060204)+, Lower Middle Fork Salmon (17060206)+, Middle Salmon-Chamberlain (17060207)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Lemhi beardtongue is a large perennial, with 1 to several stems reaching 70 cm in height and arising from a branched rootstock and short taproot. The leaves are narrowly lance-shaped and untoothed. Stalks of the basal leaves are up to 16 cm long, while the opposite stem leaves lack stalks and become smaller up the stem. Herbage is lightly covered with small hairs and occasionally a thin, bluish wax. Clusters of several short-stalked flowers are borne in the axils of upper leaves. The bright blue, tubular corolla is flared and two-lipped at the mouth and 25-35 mm long. The lance-shaped calyx segments taper to a long tip, are 7-11 mm long, and have a narrow white margin. Anthers are hairy with short pubescence, and the staminode is glabrous.
Technical Description: Perennial herb, 3-7 dm tall, with one to several stout stems from a branched caudex; herbage often finely hirtellous-puberulent at least in part; leaves entire, the basal ones clustered, up to 15-20 cm long and 1-2.5 cm wide, with petiolate, oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic blades; cauline leaves sessile, opposite, mostly lanceolate, up to ca 10-12 cm long and 1-2 cm wide; inflourescence glabrous, of several to many loose verticillasters, more or less secund in life; calyx 7-11mm long, the segments lanceolate to narrowly ovate, evidently but not strongly scarious-margined below, tapering to a long-acuminate or subcaudate tip; corolla bright blue to purplish, 40-55 mm long, ca 1.5 cm wide at the mouth; pollen sacs 1-3 mm long, divaricate, evidently dentate ciliate along the sutures, pubescent near the connective and on side away from dehiscence; staminode glabrous; capsules ca 10-15 mm long; seeds ca 2-3 mm long (Shelly 1987).
Diagnostic Characteristics: There are three species of tall beardtongues with large, bright blue flowers in southwest Montana. Penstemon lemhiensis can be distinguished by its narrow, tapered calyx segments greater than 7 mm long, and glabrous sterile stamen (staminode). Penstemon lemhiensis is a tall, conspicuous species; when in full bloom, it is easy to see during field surveys. The most reliable distinguishing features include: a.) the large, bright blue corollas, b.) the sharp, narrow, elongated tips on the calyx lobes, and c.) the lack of hairs on the staminode (sterile filament). Penstemon lemhiensis is very distinctive in comparison to other species that are frequently encountered during field surveys (especially P. aridus, P. procerus, and P. radicosus). These latter species are smaller in stature, have smaller flowers, and differ with respect to the other floral features.
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: The flowers are protandrous; anthers begin to shed pollen approximately two days before the stigma becomes sticky and receptive (Ramstetter 1983). The seeds have no appendages that might aid in long distance dispersal. It is likely that most seeds simply fall directly to the ground from the dehisced capsules.
Ecology Comments: Occurs in a wide array of habitats open to sunlight and subject to various natural disturbances with an elevational amplitude of 5000 feet. Populations growing at recent burned sites are more densely populated than adjacent stands that did not burn.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Community types include: 1) Deep-soil rangeland, 2) shallow-soil rangeland, 3) deep-soil Douglas-fir opening, 4) shallow-soil Douglas-fir opening, 5) high elevation lodgepole/limberp pine openings, 6) Ponderosa pine savanna, and 7) alluvial fan Ponderosa pine.
Economic Attributes
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Economic Uses: Showy wildflower
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 16Dec1997
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Heidel, B.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 10Nov1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): KAJ

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • ACZ, Inc. 1990. Beartrack Project vegetation technical report. Prepared for: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Salmon National Forest, Salmon, ID, and Meridian Minerals, Englewood, CO. Steamboat Springs, CO: ACZ Inc., Engineering and Environmental Services. Draft.

  • Achuff, P. L. 1992. Demographic monitoring of PENSTEMON LEMHIENSIS, Dillon Resource Area, Bureau of Land Management: establishment and progress report. Unpublished report for the Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 11 pp.

  • Achuff, P. L., and J. S. Shelly. 1991. Demographic monitoring of Penstemon lemhiensis, Beaverhead National Forest, 1990 progress report. Unpublished report on file at Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 34 pp.

  • Atwood, D., and N. Charlesworth. 1987. Status report for Penstemon lemhiensis. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Ogden, UT. Not paged.

  • Elzinga, C. 1997. Habitat conservation assessment and conservation strategy - Lemhi penstemon (Penstemon lemhiensis). USDA Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management. 46 pp. + app.

  • Heidel, B. L. and J. S. Shelly. 1993. Demographic monitoring of PENSTEMON LEMHIENSIS, Dillon Resource Area, Bureau of Land Management: 1992 progress report. Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management, Dillon Resource Area. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 18 pp.

  • Heidel, B. L. and J. S. Shelly. 1997. The effects of fire on PENSTEMON LEMHIENSIS - monitoring establishment report, 1995 and 1996. Unpublished report to the Beaverhead National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 11 pp. plus appendices.

  • Henderson, D. M. 1982. Rare plant survey of the Challis National Forest. Supplement No. 1. University of Idaho, Moscow. 7 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Keck, D.D., and A. Cronquist. 1957. Studies in Penstemon IX. Notes on northwestern American species. Brittonia 8: 247-250.

  • Lesica, P. 1992k. Vascular plant and sensitive plant species inventory for the Highland Mountains, Deerlodge National Forest. Unpublished report prepared for the Deerlodge National Forest. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 21 pp. plus appendices, photographs.

  • Lesica, P. 1994d. Sensitive plant survey of BLM Lands along the Big Hole River and in the Whitehall Valley. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 13 pp.

  • Moseley, R. K., M. Mancuso, and J. Hilty. 1990a. Field investigation and status survey of Penstemon lemhiensis (Lemhi penstemon) in Idaho. Conservation Data Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise. 17 pp. plus appendices.

  • Ramstetter, J. 1983. An ecological study of the regional endemic Penstemon lemhiensis (Keck) Keck & Cronq. (Scrophulariaceae). Unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Montana, Missoula. 116 pp.

  • Ramstetter, J., and K. M. Peterson. 1984a. Rarity in Penstemon lemhiensis (Keck) Keck & Cronq. In: Abstracts, Annual meeting of the Botanical Society of America; 1984 August 5-9; Fort Collins, CO. American Journal of Botany. 71(5 Part 2): 69. Abstract.

  • Ramstetter, J., and K. M. Peterson. 1984b. Pollination biology of Penstemon lemhiensis (Keck) Keck & Cronq. In: Abstracts, Annual meeeting of the Botanical Society of America; 1984 August 5-9; Fort Collins, CO. American Journal of Botany. 71(5 Part 2):87. Abstract.

  • Shelly, J. S. 1987. Status review of Penstemon lemhiensis, U.S. Forest Service - Region 1, Beaverhead and Bitterroot National Forests, Montana. Unpublished report. 72 pp.

  • Shelly, J. S. 1990a. Status review update and establishment of demographic monitoring studies: Penstemon lemhiensis. Prepared for U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service - Region 1, Beaverhead and Bitterroot National Forests, Montana. 61 pp.

  • Shelly, J. S. and B. L. Heidel. 1993. Demographic monitoring of PENSTEMON LEMHIENSIS in the Beaverhead National Forest, 1992 progress report. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 15 pp.

  • Shelly, J. S. and B. L. Heidel. 1995. Demographic monitoring of PENSTEMON LEMHIENSIS in southwest Montana - final report. Unpublished report to the Beaverhead National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program. 26 pp. plus appendices.

  • Shelly, J. S. and P. L. Achuff. 1992. Demographic monitoring of PENSTEMON LEMHIENSIS, Beaverhead National Forest: 1991 progress report. Unpublished report to the Beaverhead National Forest, Montana. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 19 pp.

  • Shelly, J.S. 1990b. Report on the conservation status of Penstemon lemhiensis, a candidate threatened species: Montana. Montana Natural Heritage Program Helena, MT. 89 pp.

  • Vanderhorst, J. 1995a. Sensitive plant survey in the Horse Prairie Creek drainage, Beaverhead County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management, Butte District. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 42 pp. plus appendices.

  • Watson, T. J. Jr. 1976. An evaluation of putatively threatened or endangered species from the Montana flora. Prepared for USDA Forest Service, Missoula, MT. 31 pp.

  • Watson, T. J., Jr. No date. Status report for Penstemon lemhiensis. University of Montana, Missoula. 8 pp.

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