The physostegia, or obedient plant, has flower spikes that can be positioned the way the arranger likes in flower bouquets and they will hold that shape, hence the name obedient plant. This spreading perennial grows one to three feet tall, with attractive white, purple, or pink blooms on spires.
The whites are a little shorter than the colors and have a refreshing look on a hot day. These popular plants fill in the border in late summer, which can be an in-between time for perennials. Leaves and flowers are arranged on distinctly square stems.
How to grow: Phystostegias are easily grown in average garden soil in a sunny location. In hot climates, they appreciate a little shade in the afternoon. They tend to spread aggressively, so if this is a problem, confine them to weatherproof containers or plant something else.
Propagation: By division in spring or from seed.
Uses: Extra divisions can be grown as potted plants. The main uses of physostegia are as cut flowers and in perennial flower borders.
Related varieties: Crown of Snow and Rose Crown can be grown from seed. Bouquet Rose is three to four feet tall with plentiful flowers of deep pink. Summer Snow is under three feet and has showy white flowers.
Scientific name: Physostegia virginiana