Penstemon tubiflorus - Banner
Image Information
Location: Searcy and Boone Counties, Arkansas
Month of Photograph: March, April, May
Distribution Map: Penstemon tubiflorus - Distribution map Spacer
USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (, 16 January 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. Spacer Guests can be assured that there is established evidence that this plant has been found in all of the green filled counties of Arkansas. However, the white filled counties should not be interpreted as counties in which this plant does not grow. They should instead be interpreted as counties which lack officially sanction evidence of the plants presence there.

Family: Plantaginaceae

Flowers -- frontal view close up

Penstemon tubiflorus - Flower Frontal View Close Up
Not all images on this page were photographed on the same day or at the same location. The precise location and date that specific photographs were taken can be obtained by email.
Penstemon tubiflorus - InflorescenceInflorescence
Penstemon tubiflorus - Leaves and Stem Leaves and Stem
Penstemon tubiflorus - Flowers Dorsal ViewFlower, dorsal view
Penstemon tubiflorus - Leaf AbaxialLeaf, abaxial
Penstemon tubiflorus - Leaf Adaxial Leaf, adaxial
Penstemon tubiflorus - LeafStem
Penstemon tubiflorus - Stem Stem
Penstemon tubiflorus - Stem and Basal Leaves Stem and Basal Leaves
Penstemon tubiflorus - Whole Plant Whole Plant
Penstemon tubiflorus - Inflorescence Inflorescence
Penstemon tubiflorus - Inflorescence

Flower, dorsal view
Penstemon tubiflorus - Flowers Dorsal View

Flower, lateral view
Penstemon tubiflorus  - Flowers Lateral View

Flowers with Dense Glandular Hairs, close up
Penstemon tubiflorus - Glandular Hairs
Penstemon tubiflorus - Heading

Regardless of what many may say about our federal government, I for one am willing to accept their authority in this realm. Thus, I follow the work of the Integrated Taxomic Information System (ITIS) as with the spelling of this binomial.

"The White House Subcommittee on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics has identified systematics as a research priority that is fundamental to ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation. This primary need identified by the Subcommittee requires improvements in the organization of, and access to, standardized nomenclature. ITIS (originally referred to as the Interagency Taxonomic Information System) was designed to fulfill these requirements. In the future, the ITIS will provide taxonomic data and a directory of taxonomic expertise that will support the system."

Background Information - ITIS

Integrated Taxonomic Information System

Stearn, William T. Botanical Latin. Fourth ed. Portland, OR: Timber, 2004. 279. Print.

Yatskievych, George. (1999, and 2006)  Steyermark's Flora of Missouri. (Vol. 1-2-3). St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 2006.

John Hilty. (2002-2012). Illinois Wildflowers. In Illinois Wildflowers. Retrieved 2013, from

As hard as it may be to believe, there is disagreement as to the spelling of the “generic epithet” (the second part of the scientific name following the genus name) of this plant. The ITIS which is a partnership of United States Federal agencies formed to provide “credible taxonomic information about the nations biota”, spells the epithet as “tubiflorus”. However, many other authorities (i.e. George Yatskievych, John Hilty, USDA Plants Database, and so on) spell the word as “tubaeflorus”.

Although I barely understood a word of the explanation, Stearn's “Botanical Latin” seems to suggest that the use of the vowel “ae ” in “tubaeflorus” was a mistake and should simply be “i”. This determination is based upon the rules for the use of a vowel to separate parts of a compound word when two Latin phrases are joined into a single word – as in this case, “tub” and “florus”.

I feel confident that those who use "ae" in preferance to "i" in the name "tubaeflorius" simply read the rules of Latin word formation differently than ITIS.

It is my strongly held belief that some individual bueracratic body has to be in charge of scientific names for plants even if those names are not the same as our own naming desires. We all have to just follow along in agreement for the good of science. Without such cooperative submission, we are all doomed to endless lists of synonyms that make it necessary for everyone working in biology to learn, and confuse and misuse what should be a list of unique, specific plant names.