Home Native Plant Network
NPN Protocol Details Image

Physostegia (virginiana)

David J. Horvath
Nursery Manager
Illinois Department of Natural Resources - Mason State Nursery
17855 N. CR 2400E
Topeka, Illinois 61567
309-535-3286 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Lamiaceae
Family Common Name: Mint family
Scientific Name: Physostegia virginiana (L.) Benth.
Common Name: Obedient Plant
Species Code: PHYVIR
Ecotype: Central Illinois, 650 feet msl elevation
General Distribution: P. virginiana is found from Quebec to Manitoba and south thorough the United States to Kansas, Virginia, Illinois and Tennessee.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Bareroot (field grown)
Stock Type: 1+0 bareroot
Time To Grow: 11 Months
Target Specifications: Height: n/a, herbaceous perennial.<br> Caliper: n/a, herbaceous perennial.<br> Root System: healthy bareroot system.
Propagule Collection: Source of Propagules: Seed is collected by hand from nursery stock. The plant flowers from approx. August 5 to Sept 16. Seed is harvested about Sept 30.
Propagule Processing: After drying, seed is cleaned by first running it through the Dybvig, dry, to separate chaff from the seed. Then it is run through the clipper with a top screen 6 to 8 and a bottom screen of 1/15 to 1/20. Finally, run the seed through the Jesse Aspirator with vents wide open.
Seed can be cleaned to 77% purity with 16,667 seeds per ounce.
Pre-Planting Treatments: seed is planted in the fall, therefore is not put into cold storage. If unable to plant in the fall due to weather, store the seed dry in cold storage at 34-36 degrees F. Field seed is not damp stratified due to clumping problems during the drilling process.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Total Time to Harvest: Depending on weather and plant/root development, crops take 10 - 12 months from time of sowing. This figure is increased to 18 months for field grown plants shipped in the spring.
Seed is drilled with the Love Seeder at a rate of 2.7 ounces per 45 linear feet. Adjust the drill heights so that the seed is covered only 1 times its depth. The beds should be hydroseeded with a cool-season, annual grass to protect seed over the winter months.
Active Growth Phase: Field grown plants are topdressed twice, once in May and once in June with 13-13-13 at a rate of 200 lbs. per acre. The fertilizer is irrigated in after application. Irrigation is run once or twice a week, depending on weather, and run for one to two hours.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 6 months
Hardening Phase: Reduce irrigation to slow the vegetative growth down in the fall.
Length of Hardening Phase: 1 month
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Harvest Date: Plants are lifted in late September to early November and again in the Spring if need be. The top growth should be mostly died down. Once this occurs, it is helpful to mow the tops to a more manageable size. This aids in the lifting process. Plants are undercut at 7-12 inches prior to lifting. While culling and gradingis performed, the roots should be misted occasionally.
Storage Conditions: Depending on weather conditions, field grown plants may be lifted and shipped in the fall. However, time and labor may require spring shipment. Field grown stock is also stored in cool, dry storage, above freezing. Remove dead vegetation in the culling process, and place the plants in plastic-lined bags. Do not allow root systems to dry out.
Storage Duration: Approximately 4 to 6 months. Plants may be shipped at any time as long as the receiver has cold storage.
Length of Storage: 4 to 6 months


Blessman, Gary; Flood, Roberta Mountz; Horvath, David J.. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Bareroot (field grown) Physostegia virginiana (L.) Benth. plants 1+0 bareroot; Illinois Department of Natural Resources - Mason State Nursery Topeka, Illinois. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/09/19). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

Personal tools