Physostegia virginiana, Obedient Plant



Physostegia virginia, Obedient Plant, might appear a misnomer to some if their experience of this plant is as an aggressive spreader. The "obedient" refers to the flowers ability to hold upon repositioning, not its self-contained habit. Don't refuse to grow this plant because of stories of negative experiences. In our own gardens, Obedient Plant is quite restrained, likely due to the relatively dry and semi-shaded conditions. It's natural habitat is wetland edges, and Physostegia is well-suited to the competitive plant communities of that habitat. Consider it for rain gardens or wetland edges, along with Cardinal Flower, Blue Lobelia, Boneset, Ironweed, Sweet Joe Pyeweed, Blue Vervain, Mad-dog Skullcap and so many more. If you are looking for some clean pink in the garden come August until frost, plant this nectar-rich mint in a part-sun, upland or drier part of your yard where it will not spread as eagerly as has been suggested.

Bloom: rosy-pink and white, August through September

Size: 2 to 3+ feet in drier soil, 4 feet in moist soil.

Conditions: sun to part shade, natural habitat is moist, wetland soil but tolerates drier garden soil.

This late summer, early autumn bloomer brings pink back to the garden.

Bumble bees easily make their way into Physostegia for all important, late season energy.