FALSE DRAGONHEAD
File Size: 106 KB
 
Physostegia angustifolia  Fernald
Cherokee County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 1-5 feet
Family: Lamiaceae - Mint Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July
Also Called: Narrow-leaf false dragonhead, lion's heart.
Stems: Erect, 4-sided, usually unbranched below, mostly glabrous, base of stem swollen.
Leaves: Opposite, simple, ascending to nearly appressed, sessile, thick, stiff, linear to narrowly lanceolate or oblanceolate, 2 to 6.8 inches long, 1/5 to 1 inch wide, usually clasping; margins sharply toothed, slightly wavy; tip pointed to gradually tapering-pointed; leaves above middle of stem reduced in size, widely spaced.
Inflorescences: Raceme, spike-like, 2 to 12 inches long, terminal, often interrupted near base; bracts ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, 1/2 to 2/3 length of calyx; lowest calyces separated from others.
Flowers: Showy; calyx 1/5 to 1/3 inch long; corolla .8 to 1.4 inches long, 2-lipped, pale lavender to white, purple spots inside, minutely pubescent to glabrous outside; stamens 4.
Fruits: Nutlets, 4, egg-shaped, 3-sided, 1/12 to 1/8 inch long, smooth, brown, each 1-seeded.
Habitat: Prairies, rocky open ground, ditches, stream banks, moist or wet swales, thickets, and rocky open glades.
Distribution: Southeast quarter of Kansas.
Origin: Native
Comments: The common name dragonhead alludes to the open mouth of the corolla which was thought to resemble the fabled beasts. The common name lion's heart alludes to the shape of the immature inflorescence which resembles the brush of a lion's tail and the use of the plant by ancients to slow heart palpitations. Physostegia is from Greek physa "bladder" and stege "covering", in reference to the somewhat inflated calyx. Some species in this genus go by the name obedient-plant because the flowers remain temporarily in place when pushed to one side. False dragonhead is sometimes used as an ornamental.

False dragonhead leaf
56 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead leaves
64 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead flowers
36 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead flowers
28 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead
48 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead inflorescence
44 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead leaf
57 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead leaves
86 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead leaf
61 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead
33 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead
32 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
False dragonhead
51 KB
Wah Sha She Prairie, Barton County, Missouri
False dragonhead
119 KB
Wah Sha She Prairie, Barton County, Missouri