Blue and violet wildflowers in-bloom in the first week of June

(from top-to-bottom, left-to-right: Penstemon sp., Mertensia longiflora,Delphinium bicolor, Lupinus sericeus, Viola adunca, Linum lewisii, Mertensia paniculata)

Lolo National Forest, MT
June 2014, 2015, 2016
Robert Niese

I finally have an instagram with loads of not-so-sciencey nature and personal content! Feel free to drop by and peak into the life of a nerdy natural historian!

Penstemon eriantherus “Fuzzy-tongue Penstemon” Plantaginaceae (Scroph.)

Drinking Horse Mountain, Bozeman, MT
June 3, 2015
Robert Niese

As one of our largest penstemons in the PNW, this flower is hard to miss! Look for it on drier hillsides and valleys east of the Cascades where it often blooms alongside Lupine (Lupinus sp.) and Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sp.). Its common name, Fuzzy-tongue Penstemon, is somewhat misleading as all penstemons are characterized by possessing a “fuzzy tongue.” These fuzzy tongues are actually sterile stamens (one of five total, which is where the name “pente-stamen” comes from) which attract pollinators.