Native Physostegia virginiana
Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead
 Seed & Plants
(fy-so-STEEJ-ee-uh  vir-jin-ee-AN-uh)
Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Native Wild Flower Seed for Home Landscaping & Prairie Restoration

Physostegia virginiana picture, Obedient Plant picture, False Dragonhead picture Habitat Bloom Period Color Height Inches Moisture Plant Spacing Life Span
Physostegia virginiana Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead wildflower picture Sun to 
Lt Shade

Physostegia virginiana Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead 
photo by cj

pink or
24 to 48 inches average to moist 12 inches


Click on picture for larger image

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Physostegia virginiana Obedient Plant potted plants are available, $5 each plus Boxing/Shipping.  Please contact us by email with your zip code and number of plants for shipping costs on potted plants.

Physostegia virginiana seed
Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead

number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet -  email for availability



1 ounce - --------- 

1 pound -----------

Potted Plants are Available

Physostegia virginiana, commonly called Obedient Plant or False Dragonhead is best planted in rich, moist soil in full sun or light shade.  Physotegia virginiana has 1 inch tubular flowers tightly clustered in long spikes at the top of stems and grows wild in moist ground in prairies, edges of glades and along streams.  Physotegia virginana is named obedient plant because the flowers when moved to the side remain in that position. 
      Physostegia virginiana is not as invasive as many of the other obedient plants sold commercially.
Planting seed in late fall to early winter will improve germination.  Seeds mal also be cool moist stratified in the refrigerator for a few weeks and planted in early spring.

The map below shows areas where native Physostegia virginiana Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead  grows wild, it is hardy over a much wider area if planted.  Plant in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.  Mint family (Lamiaceae)

Physostegia virginiana
Obedient Plant
False Dragonhead

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota

West Virginia

State Distributional Map for PHVI8


Use the chart below for shipping charges on flower seeds, to order copy the order form or email questions, comments & orders to 

Please contact us by email with your zip code and number of plants for shipping charges & availability on Physostegia virginiana Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead potted plants

We accept payment by check, money order, and through Paypal

The minimum seed order amount is $10, this can be a combination of different seeds.

subtotal for flower seeds 

shipping charge for seeds

seed orders up to  $20.00    =    $3.00 shipping
$20.01 - $50.00    =    $4.00 shipping
$50.01-$100.00    =    $5.00 shipping

over $100.00    =    5 % of subtotal


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Easyliving Wildflowers
PO Box  522
Willow Springs,  MO.  65793
Phone 417-469-2611 

e-mail questions, comments, and orders to -

Click here for map & driving directions to 
Easywildflowers plant nursery
located in Willow Springs Missouri 65793

Physostegia virginiana Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead Plant distribution map complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.









Alternate common names
Eastern ninebark, common ninebark
Atlantic ninebark is cultivated in the US and in Europe for its foliage, clusters of white flowers in the spring, and red fruits in the autumn. Various cultivars have been selected for compactness of growth, yellow or golden leaf color, and greater size and showiness of flower clusters.
Flowers of Atlantic ninebark are an excellent nectar source, and the fruits are eaten by many species of birds.
Physocarpus monogynus of the southwestern US, was used by Indians to relieve pain – the roots were boiled to softness and placed on sores and lesions as a poultice.
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.
General: Rose Family (Rosaceae). Native shrubs growing 1-3 meters tall, sometimes tree-like, with wide-spreading, recurved branches, the twigs brown to yellowish, glabrous; bark brown to orangish, peeling into thin strips or broader sheets on larger trunks. Leaves are deciduous, alternate, simple, ovate to obovate or nearly round, 3-12 cm long, with 3(-5) shallow, palmate-veined lobes, basally truncate or cuneate, on petioles 1-3 cm long, glabrous above and mostly so beneath but sometimes with a sparse covering of stellate hairs beneath, with crenate or dentate margins. Inflorescence of numerous flowers found in rounded clusters 2.5-5 cm wide; flowers 7-10 mm wide, calyx cup-shaped, glabrous or with stellate hairs, 5-lobed; petals 5, white or pinkish; styles 5; stamens 30-40. Fruit is compressed but inflated, ovoid, 8-12 mm long, shiny, red at maturity, glabrous or hairy, with papery but firm walls, splitting along two sides, in clusters of (2-)3-5 per flower; seeds 2-4. The common name comes from the bark, which continually molts in thin strips, each time exposing a new layer of bark, as if it had “nine lives.” This species flowers in May-July and fruits in May-July.
Variation within the species: two varieties are sometimes recognized within the species. Var. intermedius (Rydb.) B.L. Robins. has fruits that are persistently covered with stellate hairs, while var. opulifolius has glabrous fruits. Var. intermedius is the more western form, occurring from New York, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas to the westernmost localities for the species. Var. opulifolius is broadly distributed in the east, to Minnesota and Iowa, and in Canada from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to Manitoba. Intergradation in the fruit character makes it difficult to discern clear distributional boundaries.
Atlantic ninebark occurs widely in eastern North America, in Canada from Manitoba to the easternmost provinces, and in the US from Minnesota to Arkansas (with outlying occurrences in Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota to Oklahoma) and eastward to the Atlantic states. It has not been recorded from Texas, Louisiana, or Mississippi. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
R. Mohlenbrock
USDA, NRCS, Wetland Science Institute
The plants are found on moist soils in thickets, along streams in sand or gravel bars, and on rocky slopes and bluffs. Dirr (1997) observes that “the species is adaptable to all conditions, probably even nuclear attacks, and once established, requires a bulldozer for removal.”
Atlantic ninebark can be propagated from cuttings or seeds, which germinate without pre-treatment. It transplants readily and apparently grows easily over a range of light, moisture, and acidity.
Information on fire response is not available for Atlantic ninebark, but shrubs of the western US species Physocarpus malvaceus (Greene) Kuntze readily re-sprout after intense surface burns (Lea & Morgan 1993).
Cultivars, Improved and Selected Materials (and area of origin)
These plant materials are readily available from commercial sources. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”
Dirr, M.A. 1997. Dirr's hardy trees and shrubs: An illustrated encyclopedia. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
Kurz, D. 1997. Shrubs and woody vines of Missouri. Missouri Dept. of Conservation, Jefferson City, Missouri.
Lea, S.M. & P. Morgan 1993. Resprouting response of ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus) shrubs to burning and clipping. Forest Ecol. Management. 56:199-210.
USDA, NRCS 1993. Northeast wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. Wetland Science Institute, Laurel, Maryland.
Prepared By
Guy Nesom
Formerly BONAP, North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Species Coordinator
Gerald Guala