Markagunt Penstemon

Bright purple flowers growing vertically on a stem against a leafy background
Markagunt Penstemon

NPS Photo/Tiffany Zadi

Markagunt Penstemon

Penstemon leiophyllus

Common Names: Smoothleaf penstemon
Family: Plantaginaceae
Flowering Season (Bryce Region): June - August
Size: 15-24" (45-63cm)
Range: Principally found in the "Markagunt" range of the Cedar Breaks area, across to Bryce Canyon.

General Description

A member of the figwort family, this is a tall-growing species of penstemon. It has large tubular, blue to blue-violet flowers that have red-violet veins running the length of the corolla. It somewhat resembles other, better known figwort family members, the snapdragons.


Woodland and sagebrush between 6,500 and 11,500 feet. In Bryce Canyon this species can be found in moist mountain meadows in the mid to higher elevations of the park.

Plant Lore

Penstemons in general are enjoyed for their beauty and not medicinal purposes. There are over 250 species of penstemons in the United States with Utah alone claiming 65 of them; ten species occur at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Further Reading

Buchanan, Hayle 1992. Wildflowers of Southwestern Utah. Bryce Canyon Natural History Association. Bryce Canyon, Utah.


Last updated: April 30, 2023

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