Alphabetical Plant Listing

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)

Fall Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead, Virginia Lions-Heart


Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) is an upright herbaceous perennial boasting dense spikes of pink to pale lilac tubular flowers from mid-late summer to fall. Blooming from the bottom to the top on each spike, the showy blossoms are attentively visited by bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. They rise on stiff, square stems clad with narrow, lance-shaped leaves. If the flowers are bent, they tend to stay in the new position for a while, hence the common name Obedient Plant. Physostegia virginiana runs by underground rhizomes to form an extensive colony in moist, rich soils. It is a better choice for wild gardens, prairies and meadows than for perennial borders.

  • Grows up to 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm). Spreads aggressively by shallow rhizomes and self-seeding, but is easy to pull out and control.
  • Easily grown in fertile, moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates wet soils and some part shade (plant will flop in too much shade). Plants are not fussy as to soil but perform better in acid pH.
  • Great for beds and borders, cottage gardens, rain gardens or prairies.
  • Virtually disease and pest free. Keep an eye out for aphids and spider mites. Deer resistant.
  • Propagate by division in winter or early spring before new growth starts. Propagate by seed in fall or in spring after damp stratification
  • Native through much of temperate eastern North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Montana, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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By Lyu Hu, By Sarycheva Olesia, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 9
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A2, A3
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Montana, Utah, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Rain Gardens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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