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Fall Obedient Plant
Fall Obedient Plant

Fall Obedient Plant

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Fall Obedient Plant
Scientific Name: Physostegia virginiana

History/general species info: Also known as false dragonhead, the Fall Obedient plant got its common name because flower stems can be bent to stay in place, not because of its growing habit. Only pollinators with tongues long enough to reach the nectar can pollinate Obedient Plant. So, our native bumblebees are its most important pollinators. Hummingbirds and butterflies with this long proboscises also visit for their nectar.

Characteristics: Erect square stems with pairs of lanceolate, serrated leaves bear spikes six to eight inches long of pink, tubular flowers.  A member of the mint family. Can become invasive; breaking up the rhizomatous clumps should discourage this. It's called Obedient Plant because flowers can be twisted around on the stem and will stay in place. Can be used in beds and borders, as a cut flower.

Native: yes

Flower: pink to lavender.  Blooms mid-summer, late summer, and early fall

Planting / Care:  Thrives in part shade to sun and a range of soil types, including clay and poor soil. In the wild, it can be found in marshy sites. During drought, it may go dormant. Average water requirements, Moist, humus-rich soils.

Size and Spacing: Height: up to 38" Spread: up to 38"

Light requirement:  Sun, Part Shade, Shade

Attracted wildlife: Hummingbirds and butterflies

Links:
Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center:
https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=phvi8

Aggie Horticulture:
https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/cornell_herbaceous/plant_pages/Physostegiavirginiana.html

Texas Native Plants:
https://www.txnativeplants.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/NICE-Fall-Obedient-Plant-Information-Sheet-converted.pdf

Photo credit: Flickr.com