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Phlox (flox); Polemoniaceae Family. Phlox are annual or perennial herbaceous plants of North America, with lance-shaped leaves, opposite or alternative. The flowers are in loose panicle clusters atop stiff to willow erect stems. Each flower has five petals with a long narrow tube. They grow best in an open site where the soil is well-drained.

The genus name, phlox is from the Greek word for flame and refers to their brightly colored flowers. There is a variety of phlox for most any garden location. Thousands of phlox varieties are typically grouped by their two primary growth habits, upright or creeping. Spring-blooming creeping phlox can be a ground cover for rock gardens to woodland settings, whereas tall garden phlox will brighten any border with their cheerful early summer flowers

Upright or tall, summer-blooming, phlox species include -

  • Phlox paniculata (pan-ik-yew-la-tuh) - Garden Phlox is a clump-forming, upright plant which produces large, showy flower clusters. Plants are generally 2 to 4 feet tall.
  • Phlox maculata (mak-yew-la-tuh) - Similar to garden phlox, Spotted Phlox flowers earlier, has darker green leaves and conical flower heads. Plants are generally 2 to 3 feet tall.
  • Phlox divaricata (div-ar-ik-ka-tuh)- A native woodland phlox found in moist, partially shaded woodland sites.

Tall garden phlox is an herbaceous perennial that returns consistently year after year from a thickened root stock.

Creeping, spring-blooming , phlox species include -

  • Phlox subulata (sub-yew-la-tuh)- Moss Pink, Moss Phlox, Thrift or Carpet Phlox forms dense, 4 to 6 inches tall mats. Foliage is narrow, stiff, and needle-like in appearance.
  • Phlox stolonifera (stoh-lon-nif-er-uh) - This creeping phlox is 6 to 12 inches tall and bloom in spring.