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Physostegia virginiana (Fall obedient plant) | NPIN
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Physostegia virginiana (Fall obedient plant)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Physostegia virginiana

Physostegia virginiana (L.) Benth.

Fall obedient plant, Obedient plant, False dragonhead, Virginia lions-heart

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: phvi8

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

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 Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov

Distribution

USA: 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 , NB , ON , 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.

Growing Conditions

Light 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.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Propagation

Description: 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

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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...
view the full question and answer

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Ohio Prairie Nursery - Hiram, OH
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI
Far South Wholesale Nursery - Austin, TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Physostegia virginiana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Physostegia virginiana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Physostegia virginiana

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-09-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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