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Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Physostegia virginiana (L.) Benth.
Fall obedient plant, Obedient plant, False dragonhead
Synonyms: Physostegia virginiana ssp. praemorsa, Physostegia praemorsa, Physostegia virginiana ssp. virginiana, Dracocephalum virginianum
USDA Symbol: phvi8
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
4 ft. stems which frequently grow in clumps and bear long, lanceolate leaves and a 4-6 in., terminal spikes of pink to lavender, tubular flowers. Opposite, pinkish flowers in a spike-like cluster along upper part of a square stem. The perennialís long-lasting flowers have five triangular lobes, two forming an upper lip and three forming a lower lip.
This attractive plant is snapdragon-like, but its square stem is typical of the mint family. If the flowers are bent, they tend to stay in the new position for a while, hence the common name Obedient Plant. Several garden forms occasionally escape to the wild. Flowers can be swivelled into new positions where the stay obediently. (Ontario Native Plants 2002)
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: MB
, QC Native Distribution:
Que. to MN & e. SD, s. to FL & TX; reported in MT Native Habitat:
River banks; wet thickets; prairies, River banks, swamps, and low grounds in East and North Central Texas. Sand, clay, limestone; poor drainage okay. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil Description:
Moist, humus-rich soils. Conditions Comments:
Obedient plant receives its name from the characteristic fact that if you manipulate an individual flower back and forth on its axis, it will stay in position you place it. It is wonderfully adaptable, tolerating both drought and poor drainage. Spreads aggressively by stolons, but is easy to pull out and keep in check. Obedient plant is a good nectar
source for butterflies. This perennial
is easy to establish and maintain. It can become aggressive but the shallow roots are easy to pull out.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High
PropagationDescription: Propagate by division of roots or by seed. Plant seeds in fall or in spring after damp stratification. Clumps that form from spreading stolons can be divided in early spring or late fall.
Seed Collection: Seeds are 1/8, dull-brown nutlets.
Seed Treatment: Damp stratify 3 months at 40 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native plants for shady small spaces in Houston, TX
June 18, 2006
What are the best plants and flowers to plant in small spaces in an urban area in Houston, Texas? I have several flower beds that are 3 foot wide and 10-12 foot long that get half day sun. The area...
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From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Texas Discovery Gardens
- Dallas, TXSibley Nature Center
- Midland, TXDelaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DENative Plant Society of Texas
- Fredericksburg, TXCrosby Arboretum
- Picayune, MSNPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter
- Fredericksburg, TXNPSOT - Austin Chapter
- Austin, TXNative Seed Network
- Corvallis, ORNPSOT - Williamson County Chapter
- Georgetown, TX, TX
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2012-12-09
Research By: TWC Staff