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My Obedient Plant, Physostegia virginiana ‘Crown Rose’,  began to bloom last week, with tall spires of pretty lavender-pink blossoms.  DSC_5951

Obedient Plant, Physostegia virginiana, is also known as simply Obedience and False Dragonhead.  Rated hardy from Zone 4, it is a sun-loving perennial that blooms in mid-summer when many flowers are finishing up and the later bloomers haven’t yet begun.  It will bloom for about a month.   Its water needs are average, and it will tolerate dry conditions once established.  It does well in average soil; I’ve read that in soil that is too rich, the plants may become floppy.  DSC_5937

Destructive insects and other wildlife pass by Obedient Plant in my garden.  The bumblebees love it, though!  It’s fun to watch them burrow in and out of each individual flower on a spike.  DSC_5935

Obedient Plant can grow tall; mine range from thirty to forty-three inches.  The front of my Terrace Garden is the wrong place for it, as it blocks the view of the plants behind it.  DSC_5950

The only potential drawback to Physostegia virginiana  is its aggressive tendency to spread.  What you see here started three years ago as four very small plants!  I understand that there are cultivars available that form neat, well-contained clumps.  ‘Crown Rose’ is not one of those.  It spreads quickly via rhizomes.  Every year I heartlessly yank out several shoots to keep it from overtaking all that surrounds it!  It can also spread via seed, so I try hard to cut the flower spikes as soon as the blossoms fade!

If you have a spot that you can devote to a large en masse planting, I think this Obedient Plant would be just the ticket!  DSC_5924

If you have a plant you would like to highlight on a Thursday, or any other day, please feel free to join me.  It’s simple; just leave a comment here with a link to your site, and link back to my site within your own post.  I look forward to seeing what other people feature this week!DSC_5921