Penstemon laricifolius is in Penstemon subgenus Penstemon section Ericopsis subsection Ericopsis. Wow! That’s a lot of names to know, but it’s an indication of how variable this large genus is, and how closely related all the species are to one another.
There are two subspecies of P. laricifolius. Today’s feature is on P. laricifolius ssp. exifolius, which occurs in Larimer County, Colorado, and Albany County, Wyoming. I photographed this population in Wyoming in 2012, during an American Penstemon Society meeting that was based in Laramie, WY (Albany County seat).
We had a field trip stop at a rest area off of I-80 (Lincoln head at Summit reststop). There we saw three species of Penstemon, including this rare gem, which is typically blooming May to July. It occurs on rock outcrops and dry plains.