Dracocephalum ruyschiana

Common Name: northern dragonhead 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Central Europe, Russia, Asia
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 3-7 where it is easily grown in moist to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. May be propagated by division.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dracocephalum ruyschiana, commonly known as dragonhead, is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial of the mint family which produces foliage to 8” tall spreading to 18” wide. It is native to montane grasslands from central Europe to Siberia. Square stems are clad with opposite, narrow, linear-lanceolate, matt green leaves (2-3” long) having entire margins. Two-lipped, strongly-fragrant, hooded blue flowers (to 1” long) bloom above the foliage to 12” tall on short axillary and terminal 2-6 flowered spikes from mid to late summer (July-August). Corolla of each flower has a two-lobed upper lip and a three lobed lower lip. Fruit is ornamentally insignificant.

Genus name comes from the Greek words draco meaning a dragon and cephale meaning a head from the shape of the flower.

Specific epithet honors Frederick Ruysch (1638-1731), Dutch botanist and anatomist.

Common name of dragonhead is in reference to the shape of the flower.


No serious insect or disease problems. Powdery mildew, rust and blight may occur.


Best in mass planting or groups. Rock gardens. General garden use.