Physostegia virginiana (L.) Benth.
Obedient plant, false dragonhead
Obedient plant is a North American native. They are so named because a flower pushed to one side will often stay in that position, at least for awhile. Another common name, false dragonhead, derives from the resemblance to “real” dragonheads (Dracocephalum)—a genus to which obedient plants were once thought to belong. Several cultivars have been created. In the wild, obedient plant is found on or in swamps, stream banks, ditches, damp meadows and prairies, moist open woodlands, bogs, and pine savannas.
Plants: Produces multiple stems 24-48" (60-121 cm) tall, unbranched except near the flowering tops. Stems are square in cross-section, as with most members of the mint family. They spread via their root systems, and can be quite aggressive if there is ample moisture.
Flowers: Flowers are tubular, somewhat snapdragon-like in appearance, pink to lavendar or white, opposite, appearing in dense terminal spikes up to 10" (25 cm) long. There are two opposite-facing columns of densely packed flowers. Each flower is about 1" (2.5 cm) long. Viewed from the front, each flower has five lobes, two above and three below. Flowers appear from late summer to early fall.
Fruits: Seeds are weakly three-sided dull brown nutlets ⅛" (3.2 mm) in size.
Physostegia virginiana on illinoiswildflowers.info
Physostegia virginiana on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site
Physostegia virginiana at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Physostegia virginiana on floridata.com
Physostegia virginiana on Wikipedia
Physostegia virginiana description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.