Obedient Plant, Physostegia virginiana

Obedient Plant

Physostegia virginiana

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall
Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Medium, Moist
Color: Pink
Fragrance: No
Height: 2-4 feet
Spacing: 1 foot

Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana) or False Dragonhead is a rhizomatous perennial that is commonly found in a variety of habitats including open meadows, prairies, stream banks, gravel bars, wooded bluff bases and railroad track right-of-ways. Tubular, two-lipped, snapdragon-like, pink to pale lilac flowers in upright terminal spikes (each to 12-18 inches) bloom throughout summer (late June-September) atop square stems rising to 2-4 feet tall. Flowers bloom bottom to top on each spike, with each flower being subtended by a small leaf-like bract. Stems are clad with opposite, narrow-lanceolate, sharply-toothed leaves (to 3-6 inches long).

The blooming period occurs during late summer to early fall, and lasts about 1½ months. Each flower produces 4 sharply angled, dull brown seeds. The root system consists of a central taproot and rhizomes. The latter promote the spread of this plant vegetatively.

Habitats include moist to mesic black soil prairies, thickets, openings in woodland areas and along woodland borders, moist meadows along rivers and borders of lakes, seeps, limestone glades, and open moist areas near railroads.

Easily grown in average, moist, acidic, well-drained soils in full sun. Stems tend to flop in rich soils, too much shade or hot summer temperatures. Tolerates wet soils and some part shade.

 Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Watch for aphids and spider mites.
  Species plants can be an aggressive spreader.
  Taller plants may need staking.
 Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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