Obedient Plant

Physostegia virginiana

Fall Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead, Obedience

About This Plant

Sun or shade. An herbaceous perennial which tends to freeze back in winter. The lilac-colored dragonheads are spectacular in late summer in Texas. The flowers can be bent, twisted and arranged around the stem, hence obedient plant. To be clear, this plant isn’t obedient in the garden. It naturalizes easily and grows like a weed in spreading clumps. Compare it to mint; like mint, it can easily fill annual beds if not contained. But it’s great for filling in spaces around perennials, agaves and other big, pointy architectural specimens. It can be used as an informal groundcover in light shade as long as soils are deep; it may persist for years. Obedient plant is readily available in the commercial trade.

Origins: Eastern Canada to northern Mexico


Very little pruning required, but cutting it back can help control the floppiness of the stems. Grows easily in shade; spreads aggressively but not difficult to remove.

Dragonhead's the name for this aggressive, herbaceous groundcover.

Min. Height: 2'

Max Height: 3 feet'

Min. Width: 1.5'

Max Width: 2 feet'

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