MORE PICTURES click here...
When the blooms are turned, the uniquely hinged flowers will remain at that angle giving rise to the common name, "Obedient Plant". Because the tubular flowers resemble delicate snapdragons it is sometimes called "False Dragonhead".
Winter is the best time to divide and replant most herbaceous perennials like Physostegia. In Late Summer and Autumn this North American native produces 1m/3+ft. flower spikes with buds and flowers neatly arranged in lines up the stem like the four sides of a square.
Others know this plant as "Gallipoli Heath" since the pale orchid, purple or rarely white spikes resemble the Mediterranean Heaths and Heathers when grown in mass plantings.
Physostegia are easily grown in most light, loose, slightly acid soils that stay moist. They are excellent in sun but also thrive in light shade where their colours are often brighter. The flowers are long-lasting and make good cut flowers.
These hardy members of the mint family spread rapidly and often self seed but are easily controlled, valuable additions to the perennial border. They can be successful naturalised around open shrub border plantings as well as raised or terrace beds, sloping sites and a variety of traditional garden environments including large containers.
Cut old foliage back to the ground in Autumn. Divide dormant rootstock and over-crowded crowns every two years. Winter is an excellent time to do this. Replant the dormant roots at about the same depth as they were growing before or a little deeper with the cut-back stem protruding above the ground.
New growth will sprout once weather warms in Spring. Feed and mulch with aged cow manure or mature compost in Spring. Once the weather warms seed sprouts rapidly. These sometimes flower the first season and if not always by their second year.
Cuttings taken from strong growing stems usually strike quickly in sand or propagating mix.