False Dragonhead is a rhizomatous perennial that is native to North America from Quebec to Manitoba south to Florida and New Mexico. It is commonly found in a variety of habitats including open meadows, prairies, stream banks, gravel bars, wooded bluff bases and railroad track right-of-ways. Tubular, two-lipped, snapdragon-like, pink to pale lilac flowers in upright terminal spikes (each to 12-18”) bloom throughout summer (late June-September) atop square stems rising to 2-4’ tall. Flowers bloom bottom to top on each spike, with each flower being subtended by a small leaf-like bract. Stems are clad with opposite, narrow-lanceolate, sharply-toothed leaves (to 3-6” long).This is a wonderful species if you need a plant to fill in large spots around your yard. Like all members of the mint family, it produces copious amounts of nectar. Blooming late summer and well into fall, obedient plant provides a much-needed boost of energy for pollinators facing the coming winter.
Genus members are commonly called Obedient Plant because each individual flower will, upon being pushed in any one direction, temporarily remain in the new position as if it were hinged. Genus members are also commonly called false dragonhead because the flowers are suggestive of the flowers of dragonhead (Dracocephalum).