Physostegia angustifolia

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: obedient plant 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Central United States
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Plant stems tend to flop and may need staking, especially if grown in soils with high fertility or in too much shade. Rhizomatous plant which can be an aggressive spreader in the garden. Divide every 2-3 years to control growth.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Physostegia angustifolia is an upright, clump-forming mint family (square stems) member that typically grows 2-4' tall and features long-lasting, late summer terminal spikes of pinkish, snapdragon-like flowers. Genus members are commonly called obedient plants because each individual flower will temporarily remain in a new position if pushed in any direction as if it were hinged. This species is native to the Ozark and unglaciated prairie areas of central and southern Missouri. Steyermark suggests that this species is very similar to the more commonly found and commercially sold P. virginiana, except this species tends to have more rigid stems and narrower leaves.

Genus name comes from the Greek words physa meaning bladder and stege meaning covering in reference to the calyces which inflate as they develop.

Specific epithet means narrow-leaved.

Problems

No serious disease or insect problems. Rust is an occasional problem. May need staking.

Garden Uses

An excellent plant for naturalizing in a wildflower garden, prairie or meadow. Provides color and contrast to the perennial border.