Physostegia ledinghamii (False Dragonhead) - photos and description





Leaf mid-stem in above photo

Lowest leaves on this plant have petioles

General: Upright rhizomatous perennial, usually with single stems. Stems are glabrous and four-angled.

Flowers: Inflorescence in spikes, terminal on stem and from leaf axils. Flowers are pink, two-lipped, the lower lip with two lobes, tube-shaped, flowers opposite on spikes. We measured flowers to 22 mm long.

Leaves: Leaves are cauline, opposite, lanceolate, serrate, most leaves sessile, the lowest pairs of leaves may have petioles. We measured a leaf mid-stem at 10 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. Leaves with tiny hairs on the top, and glabrous on the bottom. Each pair of leaves grows at a right angle to the pair of leaves above and below it.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 100 cm, we measured plants to 80 cm tall.

Habitat: Stream banks, moist woods, we've seen them growing in both sun and shade.

Abundance: Fairly common.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: There is one other species of Physostegia native to our province, P. parviflora, which can be distinguished by its uppermost leaves which are broadest near the broadly rounded base, and a corolla usually less than 15 mm long (as described in The Flora of Canada).

Synonym: Listed in some of the field guides we use as Physostegia virginiana.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken July 13, roadside wetland about 225 km northeast of Regina, SK, and August 5th along the Red Deer River, 400 km northeast of our home in Regina, SK.