Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead
Physostegia virginiana 'Variegata'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Physostegia (fy-so-STEEJ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: virginiana (vir-jin-ee-AN-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegata

One vendor has this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
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:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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3 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive daisy_lee On Oct 11, 2011, daisy_lee from New Hyde Park, NY wrote:

I really love this elegant plant! It puts on a beautiful show for months in my garden. The variegated leaves are attractive all summer and it has been in bloom since late August and still going in October, when hardly anything is in bloom here in zone 5. Everyone who sees it asks me the name, since it is a show stopper!

Negative zzazzq On Feb 4, 2006, zzazzq from Madison, MS wrote:

Weak growth and eventual death in very hot and humid climates. Ordered several from two different companies and none survived. Very weak plants. Have grown the regular obedient plant without problems for years. May be a great plant in different circumstances, but not in my very hot and humid climate in central MS.

Positive Fleurs On Nov 18, 2004, Fleurs from Columbia, SC wrote:

The foliage is as decorative as the lovely flowers. I plan to move my plant from its full sun location to one of partial sun and will give it more water next summer.

Positive ArianesGrandma On Sep 11, 2002, ArianesGrandma from Yorkville, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I like this PLANT a lot...It does tend to lean over a bit (from being TOP HEAVY w/ Flowers) but I don't mind staking it with some 1/2" PVC......and with the leaves being green and white the PVC Blends in well. PLUS I go for almost anything Variegated & Late Flowering.

We all need more COLOR in our Gardens in late Summer / Early Fall and this PLANT Sure helps add color.

I'd say:
It's another "KEEPER" in my Garden


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

Calistoga, California
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Wichita, Kansas
Otis, Massachusetts
Royal Oak, Michigan
Lake George, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Fayetteville, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Fargo, North Dakota
Albion, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Leesburg, Virginia
Wytheville, Virginia

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