|The plump bee bodies just scoot down into the tubular flowers|
|Nectar robbing carpenter bees do not pollinate False Dragonhead flowers|
Physostegia virginiana years ago as False Dragonhead and the name has stuck with me. I have since learned that many people know it by Obedient plant, a misnomer if I've ever heard one! This plant is anything but obedient, but, I digress and will get back to that topic a little later. It's called Obedient Plant because flowers, when pushed from their normal position, are supposed to remain for a while where they have been turned. The common name dragonhead alludes to the open mouth of the corolla which was thought to resemble the fabled beasts of yore!
|the lower lip is divided into 3 lobes – the larger central one functioning as a landing pad for insects|
|this striking plant needs to be massed for the best color effect...|
|Bumbles are the primary pollinators of Obedient plant|
|The flowers have no scent, but look smashing in a fall garden|
Hardy in zones 3 to 7
Prefers moist, slightly acid to acid, well draining soil
Full sun to partial shade
Weed suppressing quality (it's a mint family member)
Divide in the spring, prune to reduce height and control floppiness in early summer
Narrow, toothed leaves
2 to 4 foot tall, clumps and spreads
Hybridized for height, color and variegation (P 'Vivid', P 'Miss Manners' and P 'Variegata')
Welcome to Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday celebration. WW is about sharing and celebrating wildflowers from all over this great big, beautiful world. Join us on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Remember, it doesn't matter if they are in bloom or not; and, it doesn't matter if we all share the same plants. It's all about celebrating wildflowers. Wildflower Wednesday participants, please leave a comment when you add your url to Mr Linky.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.