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Hairy Phlox Phlox pilosa ssp. pilosa

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Hairy Phlox:

Previously known as:

  • Phlox argillacea
  • Phlox pilosa var. virens
  • Phlox villosissima
Phonetic Spelling
floks pil-OH-suh pil-OH-suh
Description

Downy Phlox is a native perennial wildflower that is an easily adaptable early-blooming plant. typically found in prairies, plains, meadows, pastures, savannas, shaded woods, dry to mesic woodlands, road banks, hillsides, and slopes.  The specific epithet pilosa means hairy and refers to the soft white hairs on the stems, leaves, and corolla tubes and the common name of downy phlox. The flowers are showy pale pink to lavender, fragrant, and extremely attractive to butterflies. Its rhizomes form clumps that allow it to spread easily., requiring a medium amount of maintenance to prevent it from spreading into unwanted areas.

This plant is excellent for sunny locations, in rock gardens, cottage gardens, wild gardens, native plant gardens, or prairie-type areas. It is tolerant of dry soil but a summer mulch is recommended to keep the root zone cool. It has no serious insect or disease problems although hot, dry conditions can promote spider mite infestations. It has resistance to powdery mildew. 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#perennial#wildlife plant#pink flowers#mulch#nectar plant#cottage garden#specialized bees#low flammability#NC native#well-drained soil#rhizomes#lavender flowers#thickets#naturalizes#hairy leaves#native wildflower#wildflower garden#prairies#sandhills#hairy stems#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#rocky soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#mammals#butterfly friendly#insects#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#butterflies#pollinators#roadside#audubon#meadows
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#perennial#wildlife plant#pink flowers#mulch#nectar plant#cottage garden#specialized bees#low flammability#NC native#well-drained soil#rhizomes#lavender flowers#thickets#naturalizes#hairy leaves#native wildflower#wildflower garden#prairies#sandhills#hairy stems#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#rocky soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#mammals#butterfly friendly#insects#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#butterflies#pollinators#roadside#audubon#meadows
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Phlox
    Species:
    pilosa
    Family:
    Polemoniaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Meskwaki Indians used an infusion of leaves to cure and purify the blood, and as a wash for eczema. They also used a compound containing the root used as a 'love medicine'.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    USA: AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers attract bees, butterflies, and Cloudwing skippers. Bees include bumblebees, Anthophorine bees, little carpenter bees (Ceratina spp.), cuckoo bees (Nomada spp.), and green metallic bees (Agapostemon spp.) Butterflies include American Painted Lady, Sulfur, and Swallowtail butterflies, Rabbits, deer, and groundhogs will eat the foliage.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 2 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 4 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Papery, oval 1/8 inch seed capsule which breaks into 3 sections and will split open when dry and explosively discharge the seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Each fragrant, tubular, pink to pale purple flowers (to 3/4” diameter) has a long corolla tube and five flat petal-like lobes. Corolla tubes are often covered with soft white hairs, (pilosa means soft-hairy). Florets are loosely packed in rounded terminal clusters (cymes). Downy phlox blooms May to July with occasional rebloom in the fall.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are opposite, widely-spaced, sharp-pointed, stalkless, deep green, with prominent central veins and often finely pubescent. The lower leaves are linear, while the upper leaves are lanceolate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Fire