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Wyoming Natural Diversity Database
Wyoming Natural Diversity Database - Species Abstract
Abstract Date: 06 February 2014
Listed Endangered (LE)
Nature Serve Global Rank:
Wyoming Contribution Rank:
Blowout penstemon is a perennial herb with one to many glabrous upright or decumbent stems arising from a branched caudex, rooting from buried nodes. Vegetative stems are usually less than 30 cm tall and have greenish-blue, waxy, linear leaves 2.5-12 cm long and 0.3-1 cm wide. Flowering stems have narrow basal leaves and broad-based, clasping, waxy upper stem leaves 0.7-3 cm wide that taper abruptly to a narrow tip. The inflorescence is 6-16 cm long with 3-6(10) compact, leafy whorls of milky-blue to pale lavender flowers (rarely pink or white). Bracts of the inflorescence are broad and heart-shaped at the base and narrow to an elongate tip. Individual flowers are 23-25 (30) mm long with tubular, bi-lobed and faintly vanilla-scented corollas that are broadly dilated above the glabrous, linear sepals. Anther sacs are 1.8-2 mm long and glabrous. The sterile staminode is glabrous or hairy. Fruits are 13-16 mm long capsules, acute, with light-brown, disc-shaped seeds that have narrowly winged margins (Stubbendieck et al. 1982, 1997; Freeman 1986; Fertig 2000, 2001, Heidel 2005).
Penstemon grandiflorus has ovate to spoon-shaped leaves that are widest near the middle, larger non-aromatic flowers, and larger fruits. P. angustifolius var. caudatus has smaller flowers.
has non-aromatic corollas, elliptic to oblanceolate leaves, 2.5-5(7) cm long and 4-11(15) mm wide (Cronquist et al. 1984, Freeman 1986; Dorn 2001).
This species can be identified before/after flowering based on its dimorphic leaves and bracts, or in flower based on flower size and vanilla-like fragrance.
Regional endemic of the Nebraska Sandhills, and in the Ferris Dunes of south-central Wyoming (Carbon County). This species was not confirmed in Wyoming until 1999 and previously was thought to be endemic to Nebraska.
Elevation 5860 - 7440 ft.
Sand dunes with crater-like blowout depressions created by wind erosion in the sandhills (Great Plains Flora Association 1986). Wyoming populations are mainly on the rim and lee slopes of blowouts, and associated steep sand slopes where dunes intercept topographic barriers and erosion is active, with Redfieldia flexuosa, Psoralidium lanceolatum, Achnatherum hymenoides and Elymus lanceolatus var. lanceolatus (Fertig 2001, Heidel 2012).
Occurrences in Wyoming
Known from 3 occurrences, represented by 19 separate blowouts in Wyoming, last surveyed in 2011 (Heidel 2012).
Population census tallies range from 10,957-20,845 plants. Numbers vary greatly between the 19 separate subpopulations, from 24-6317 plants, and also vary between years (Heidel 2012).
Populations numbers appear to have peaked in 2005. It remains to be determined whether the subsequent decline has plateaued or continues to decline. Population trends may mirror habitat trends. The dune habitat was extensively destabilized by 2006, signifying both new potential habitat and lost occupied habitat.
All populations on BLM lands in Wyoming are protected on the Blowout Penstemon Area of Critical Environmental Concern.
Potentially threatened by sand quarrying, off-road vehicles, and water developments. It might also be threatened by collecting. Threats associated with oil and gas development, and wind development are low at present and projected for 2030 (Heidel et al. 2014).
Occurs on lands managed by the BLM Rawlins Field Office, Bureau of Reclamation and State Trust lands..
Original author: Walter Fertig 2001-04-05.
Last updated: Bonnie Heidel 2014-02-04.
2010-02-04 Bonnie Heidel
Extracted from database: 2/6/2014 2:24:04 PM
Species Wyoming Distribution
Related Ecological Systems
Andersen, M.D. 2011. HUC10-based species range maps. Prepared by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database for use in the pilot WISDOM application operational from inception to yet-to-be-determined date of update of tool.**Dorn, R. D. 2001. Vascular Plants of Wyoming, third edition. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, WY.**Fertig, W. 2000. Status of blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii) in Wyoming. Unpublished report prepared for the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Wyoming Game and Fish Department by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.**Fertig, W. 2001. 2000 survey for blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii) in Wyoming. Unpublished report prepared for the Bureau of Land Management Wyoming State Office by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.**U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2012. Blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii) 5-year review: summary and evaluation. Page 41. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Nebraska Ecological Services Field Office, Grand Island, NE. http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/five_year_review/doc4048.pdf.**Fritz, M., W. Jobman, and J. Stubbendieck. 1992. Blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii S. Watson) recovery plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 6, Denver, CO.**Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.**Hawk, J. L. and V. J. Tepedino. 2007. The effect of staminode removal on female reproductive success in a Wyoming population of the endangered blowout penstemon, Penstemon haydenii (Scrophulariaceae). Madroño 54:22-26.**Heidel, B. 2005. Survey of Penstemon haydenii (blowout penstemon) in Wyoming–2004. Unpublished report prepared for the Casper and Rawlins Field Offices of the Bureau of Land Management by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.**Heidel, B. 2007. Penstemon haydenii (blowout penstemon) final monitoring report 2004-2006, Carbon County, Wyoming. Unpublished report prepared for the Bureau of Land Management by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.**Heidel, B. 2012. Status of Penstemon haydenii (blowout penstemon) in Wyoming. Unpublished report prepared for the Bureau of Land Management Rawlins and Rock Springs Field Offices by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.**Kottas, K. L. 2009. Life history and modeling of an endangered plant, Penstemon haydenii. PhD Dissertation. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.**Taylor, A. R. 2000. The vascular flora of the Upper North Platte River drainage, Wyoming. Masters Thesis. Department of Botany, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY.**Tepedino, V. J., T. R. Toler, B. A. Bradley, J. L. Hawk, and T. L. Griswold. 2006. Pollination biology of a disjunct population of the endangered sandhills endemic Penstemon haydenii S. Wats.(Scrophulariaceae) in Wyoming, U.S.A. Plant Ecology 193:59-69.
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