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Regional Picks: Underused Perennials – Southern Plains

Fine Gardening - Issue 187

1. Spring Obedient Plant

Name: Physostegia intermedia

Zones: 6–9

Size: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist soil

Native Range: Southern United States

Spring obedient plant makes a lovely addition to wetland gardens with its long terminal spikes of pink or purple flowers. It is easy to grow and can tolerate light shade and moist, heavy soils. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are attracted to its tubular blooms. Spring obedient plant blooms from early spring through midsummer, while its cousin, fall obedient plant (P. virginiana), blooms from late summer into fall.


2. Wooly Ironweed

Name: Vernonia lindheimeri

Zones: 7–9

Size: 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil

Native Range: Mexico and southern Texas

Woolly ironweed is a flamboyant wolf in sheep’s (wooly) clothing. Early in the season it sends up inconspicuous stems that radiate narrow, gray-green leaves. Terminal clusters of whitish flower buds appear at the…

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