Add Obedient Plant to Your Flower Garden

This unique native wildflower draws hummingbirds and pollinators like bees to the flower garden.

While admiring the flowers in my mother’s yard during a trip to Ohio earlier this summer, I came upon this Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana) that I purchased for her a few years ago. It’s done very well since we planted it, returning each summer to bloom from June to September and attract plenty of wildlife.

Obedient Plant in the Flower Garden

Obedient Plant is native to the Eastern U.S. and Canada. This wildflower earned its common name from a fairly unusual trait – the flowers can be moved from one side of the stem to the other, and they will remain in position for a time. This makes them fun in cut flower arrangements, and an interesting choice for the flower garden. The wild varieties have pink-tinted blooms, but cultivars have been created that have darker pink and stark white flowers, along with a more compact growing arrangement.

Obedient Plant in the Flower Garden

Obedient Plant will tolerate a variety of soil types, but likes to stay fairly moist. In certain environments, it can spread somewhat aggressively, but it’s a shallow-rooted plant that’s easy to remove if it shows up where it’s not wanted. Hummingbirds and pollinators like bees like to visit this plant, which is suitable for growing in zones 3 – 10. Add it to your wildflower meadow or native flower garden for long-lasting summer blooms.

Obedient Plant in the Flower Garden

Looking for more plants for a cutting garden? Try this Top 10 List.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.