Physostegia purpurea

Obedient Plant, Eastern False Dragonhead

Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Also known as also Physostegia godfreyi, Physostegia leptophylla

Plant Specifics

Life Span:Short-lived perennial
Flower Color:Pink,purple
Fruit Color:NA
Phenology:Winter dormant
Noted for:Showy flowers


Recommended Uses:Wildflower garden.
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Sand
Soil pH:Adaptable



Humminbirds are attracted to the nectar.


Generally pollinated by bumblebees.  Other long tongued bees, hummingbirds and the occasional butterfly sip nectar from the flowers (New Moon Nursery).

Native Habitats:Wet prairie, wet savannas, hydric pine flatwoods, cypress sloughs, marl prairies, marshes, ditches.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:P. purpurea is the most common of several similar species.   Based on BONAP maps and the ISB website, it likely occurs throughout peninsular Florida and in the coastal plain in the panhandle and up the eastern seaboard as far as North Carolina.