Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead
Physostegia pulchella

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Physostegia (fy-so-STEEJ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: pulchella (pul-KEL-uh) (Info)

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Wingnut
Thumbnail #1 of Physostegia pulchella by Wingnut

By QueenB
Thumbnail #2 of Physostegia pulchella by QueenB

By frostweed
Thumbnail #3 of Physostegia pulchella by frostweed

By TroubleX2
Thumbnail #4 of Physostegia pulchella by TroubleX2

By RosemaryA
Thumbnail #5 of Physostegia pulchella by RosemaryA


1 positive
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral QueenB On Apr 18, 2005, QueenB from Shepherd, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

It just kind of showed up this year in my bog area. I didn't know for sure if it was going to be anything showy until it bloomed. It's a nice touch since it's tall and in the kind of in the middle. I've yet to find out if it's invasive.

Positive SunshineSue On May 23, 2003, SunshineSue from Mississauga, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

I've had this plant in my zone 5-6 garden for 3 years. This far north (Toronto area) it blooms mid-late August for several weeks & puts on a lovely display when many other plants have finished for the season. No special care required other than keeping new plants well watered until established. Staking may be required for mature plants. I have found this plant to be very invasive as it readily re-seeds all over the garden & could easily take over if left unchecked. Excess plants transplant very easily by digging out a clump a moving elsewhere. New transplants should be well watered & these suffer absolutely no transplant shock. A very hardy plant in our zone. Very easy to grow.

Neutral Wingnut On May 24, 2002, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

There aren't many plants that will be this showy while growing in shady bog garden conditions. These one bloom for about three weeks in late May, early June here in Zone 8b, Central Texas. If happy, they'll spread slowly but surely, forming a wide drift that is gorgeous in bloom. I haven't tried to transplant them into other conditions, so don't know how well they'd do.

Obedient plants get their name from the curious tendency of the stems to stay put when you bend them.

Neutral Terry On Aug 31, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A native to moist bottomlands of West Texas.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Jones, Alabama
Bartow, Florida
Fayetteville, New York
Fargo, North Dakota
Dickson, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Montgomery, Texas
Shepherd, Texas
Spicewood, Texas
Richmond, Virginia
Springfield, Virginia

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