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Physostegia virginiana
Scientific classification


Physostegia, the lionshearts[1] or false dragonheads (in reference to their similarity to Dracocephalum), is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae, native to North America (United States, Canada, northern Mexico).[2][3] They are erect rhizomatous herbaceous perennials inhabiting damp, sunny places. They grow up to 2 m (7 ft) tall with purple or pink tubular flowers in racemes in summer.[4]

The generic name comes from two Greek words, physa (a bladder) and stege (a covering), referring to the calyx, which becomes full of fruit when mature.[5]

Physostegia virginiana is the most common species, and is known as "obedient plant".

  1. Physostegia angustifolia Fernald - lower Mississippi Valley, southern Great Plains
  2. Physostegia correllii (Lundell) Shinners - Texas, northern Mexico
  3. Physostegia digitalis Small - Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama
  4. Physostegia godfreyi P.D.Cantino - Florida Panhandle
  5. Physostegia intermedia (Nutt.) Engelm. & A.Gray - lower Mississippi Valley, southern Great Plains
  6. Physostegia ledinghamii (B.Boivin) P.D.Cantino - Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota
  7. Physostegia leptophylla Small - Southeast from Florida to Virginia
  8. Physostegia longisepala P.D.Cantino - Texas, Louisiana
  9. Physostegia parviflora Nutt. ex A.Gray - western Canada (Manitoba to British Columbia), northwestern + north-central United States (Illinois to Washington)
  10. Physostegia pulchella Lundell - eastern Texas
  11. Physostegia purpurea (Walter) S.F.Blake - Southeast from Florida to North Carolina
  12. Physostegia virginiana (L.) Benth. - much of eastern + central US + Canada; northeastern Mexico


  1. ^ "Physostegia". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Biota of North America Program, 2013 county distribution maps
  4. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1-4053-3296-4.
  5. ^ Coombes, Allen J. (2012). The A to Z of plant names. USA: Timber Press. p. 312. ISBN 978-1-60469-196-2.

University of Texas Herbarium