University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial of the Month - August 2000

Physostegia virginiana 'Miss Manners'

(fii-so-stee' gee-ah vir-gin-ee-aa' nah)

Common name: Obedient Plant, False Dragonhead

Family: Mint (Lamiaceae)

Height x width: 24" x 2-3"

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: dark green, opposite, oblong to lanceolate, serrate, 3-5" long; square stems

Flowers: spikes of closely spaced pure white flowers, to 1" or so long; flowers arranged in 4 vertical rows on the spikes in late summer, early fall

Hardiness: USDA zones 3-9

Soil: most, tolerates lower pH

Light: sun

Pests and problems: few, occasionally rust

Landscape habit, uses: borders, mixed plantings, massed especially to separate other colors, large containers, cut flowers; don't combine directly with off white colors; for dramatic effect combine with dark colors such as dark red lilies and daylilies, blue bellflowers and catmints, or dark-leaved loosestrifes; combine in contained beds with variegated ribbon grass to echo the white margins

Other interest: Different from the other cultivars and species, this cultivar has a clumping habit; originally native to eastern North America, this cultivar was selected by Darrell Probst in the late 1990's

Other culture: cut back first flowers when through for secondary display later in season

Propagation: cuttings, tissue culture, division by licensed propagators as plant patent is pending

Sources: new to the market, check local nurseries or favorite mail order sources; wholesale listing available from Plant Haven, Inc (

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