A Day In The Life

Obedience Plant These lovely flowers are physos…
September 21, 2006, 1:38 am
Filed under: Nature

Obedience Plant

These lovely flowers are physostegia virginiana also called false dragonhead or obedience plant. Quite a few years ago, I saw a picture of them in a seed catalog and decided to order some for my garden. They grow two to four feet in height so I planted them in the middle of a bed. Big mistake! I should have researched obedience plant more thoroughly because these plants spread from underground stems like wildfire. They are the single most aggressive plant I have ever cultivated. I use my big shovel to dig up clumps of obedience plant every spring so they won’t choke out the purple coneflowers, iris, sedum and yarrow that I have in the same bed.

They may have an aggressive personality, but I do think they yield beautiful flowers. They bloom in late summer after other flowers have tapered off and before my chrysanthemums burst into bloom. I consistently win blue ribbons in the county fair flower show with my obedience plants. This year I didn’t enter anything in the flower show because our spring and summer were so dry. Nothing I had bloomed as big and beautiful as it normally does. However, I was so disappointed in my decision not to show when I visited the fair. There was only one obedience plant entered and it was a sad, little specimen. In fact, even though it was the only flower entered in its category, the bloom was draped with a “thanks for participating” green ribbon. Meanwhile, I had these blooms in my garden.

I think I made a mistake, don’t you?!!! Next year I will trust the beauty of my flowers even in adverse growing conditions.


12 Comments so far
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hmmm…i wonder how they got the name obedience plant..not very obedient, are they?

Comment by C.

but very beautiful!!

Comment by C.

Oh, I forgot to explain the obedience thing. When you move a flower it will not spring back into position, but will obediently stay put because the stalk has a hinge-like structure.

Comment by SongBird

Ah, yes… you made a mistake. But then how would you know at the time you made the decision? Thanks for the explaination, I was wondering.

Comment by willowtree

blue ribbon

Comment by Pamela

Songbird, do you also have a horticulture degree? You are so well informed on plants. . .

Yes, you should have entered the flower in the fair. . .They are beautiful flowers!

Comment by Shauna

There’s always next year. they are really lovely flowers, they remind me of penstemon.

Comment by Angelina

Gorgeous – but I will know never to put them in – HOWEVER, some plants, considered weeds in the south, are great plants here in the North – but, I’m still not planting Cudzu or anything that sends runners under the ground. Have you tried an underground barrier? –

Comment by Karmyn R

Those are pretty flowers. Funny that they are bendable. Love the color. Yes, you should have entered them – beautiful flowers deserve to get fawned over at least once before they die. Next year, though. Thank goodness for next year 🙂

Comment by ElleCharlie

Gorgeous flowers… are they the same sort as Snap Dragons? Can you make those ones “talk”?

Comment by M J

The flowers that seems to be the prettiest and most prolific…and the ones I like best are considered to be weeds by other people. This is a beautiful flower.

Comment by Swampwitch

Very beautiful! Too bad you didn’t enter, you would have won. There’s always next time.

Comment by Emmakirst

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