What’s blooming in Betty’s yard? Obedient plant

Blog post and photos by Betty Struckhoff
Member and former Board member, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter
Master Gardener

[Editor’s Note: To give you a more accurate idea of blooming time, Betty submitted this blog post with photos on September 8.]

Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Plant name:
Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana)
(also called false dragonhead)

Fair warning – This plant spreads profusely by seed, although the seedlings are easy to yank.

Obedient plant grows 3 to 5 feet tall, likes moist spaces, and blooms August to September.

The blooms tend to be a dark pink in sun and can shade to almost white in part shade.  (There is a cultivar that is pure white.)

Why I chose this plant:
I fell in love with obedient plant when I saw drifts in the Savanna planting on the west side of Forest Park, behind the Art Museum.

The common name refers to the flowers’ tendency to stay in place if they are bent by hand. It makes a good cut plant.

Purple flowers

Obedient plant likes moisture and attracts pollinators.

I see bumble bees galore – in a sunny area of my yard, the plant literally hums. It also attracts hummingbirds and sphinx moths – and provides food for other birds. 

Obedient plant likes sun but can take some shade. It likes moisture, tolerates clay soil, and the deer leave it alone.

MOBOT plant finder

Grow Native

Where to Purchase:
Missouri Wildflowers Nursery

2 thoughts on “What’s blooming in Betty’s yard? Obedient plant

  1. Thank you very much! I had never heard of this plant before, but now I will take a trip to Missouri Wildflowers Nursery! I will tell this plant to grow, prosper and be beautiful in my yard, and apparently it will listen. That’s just the kind of plant I need! :))
    Shirley 🙂

  2. Thanks Betty! This is one of my favorites. There are not many native this color pink.

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