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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Physostegia intermedia (Spring obedient plant)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Physostegia intermedia

Physostegia intermedia (Nutt.) Engelm. & A. Gray

Spring Obedient Plant, Marsh Obedient Plant, Slender False Dragonhead, Intermediate False Dragonhead

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Synonym(s): Dracocephalum intermedium, Physostegia micrantha

USDA Symbol: phin8

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The slender, 1-5 ft. stem of this perennial is solitary and usually unbranched. Its leaves are large and numerous toward the bottom, becoming progressively smaller and more widely spaced upward. Purple-streaked, lavender, funnel-shaped flowers cluster in terminal spikes.

This plant will grow in shallow, standing water. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.


From the Image Gallery

23 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.
Fruit: Nutlets.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: AL , AR , IL , KY , LA , MO , OK , TX
Native Distribution: KY & two s. IL cos. to extreme s.e. MO, s. to LA & TX
Native Habitat: Stream banks Flood plains, Marshes, Swamps, Flood plains, bottomland

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Aquatic: yes
Soil Description: Moist, heavy soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Excellent plant when used at the edge of the water garden. Can be planted in gardens in part-shade with moist soil. Easy to grow. Good for wetland gardens and habitat. Can be used in shallow, standing water. It also has potential to be invasive.


Use Ornamental: Showy, Blooms ornamental, Bog or pond area, Water garden, Perennial garden
Use Wildlife: Obedient plant attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Nectar-Bees, Nectar-insects
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High


Propagation Material: Root Division

Find Seed or Plants

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native plants for seasonal poor drainage
May 16, 2006
I have an area in my front yard that has a drainage ditch running through it. When it rains, that area stays very wet. What kind of plants available for sale will work in this situation?
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX


Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: NPC

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