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Phlox pilosa

Common Name(s):

Description

Phlox pilosa, commonly known as prairie phlox or downy phlox, is native from Connecticut to Ontario and Manitoba south to Louisiana and Florida.  It is a long blooming herbaceous perennial in the Polemoniaceae family. It is typically found it in rocky or dry open woods, valleys, thickets, meadows, prairies, and glades. Its rhizomes form clumps that allow it to spread easily. Its upright stems have widely spaced opposite 4-inch long linear to lanceolate dark green leaves with sharp tips. 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 and fragrant and extremely attractive to butterflies. It naturalizes easily and is right at home in a rock or cottage or native planting bed. It is a medium water use plant and requires a medium amount of maintenance, needing to be kept from spreading into unwanted areas.

This plant is excellent for dry sunny locations. Excellent selection for rock gardens, cottage gardens, wild gardens, native plant gardens or prairie-type areas.

The USDA currently lists nine different subspecies for this plant (deamii, detonsa, fulgida, latisepala, ozarkana, pilosa, pulcherima, riparia and sangamonensis).

 

Seasons of Interest:

     Bloom:  Spring- Summer, May-July       Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Summer

 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious insect or disease problems. Dry conditions can promote spider mite infestations. It has resistance to powdery mildew. 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#butterflies#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#perennial#herbs#wildlife plant#wildflowers#nectar plant#cottage garden#naturalize#meadow#flowering#cpp#low flammability#deer resistant#rock garden#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#butterflies#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#perennial#herbs#wildlife plant#wildflowers#nectar plant#cottage garden#naturalize#meadow#flowering#cpp#low flammability#deer resistant#rock garden#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Phlox
    Species:
    pilosa
    Family:
    Polemoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape. This plant has low resistant to damage by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    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
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers of the Prairie Phlox bloom from May to July with a possible sparse rebloom in fall. Each individual flower has a long corolla tube and five flat petal-like lobes which lack notches. Stems, leaves, and corolla tubes are often covered with soft white hairs, hence the specific epithet of pilosa means soft-hairy and the sometimes used common name of downy phlox. Fragrant, tubular, pink to pale purple flowers (to 3/4” diameter) are loosely packed in rounded terminal clusters (cymes).
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Prairie Phlox is an upright perennial that grows in a clump to 12-16" (less frequently to 24") tall on stiff stems clad with opposite, widely-spaced, sharp-pointed, linear to linear-lanceolate, stalkless, deep green leaves (each to 4" long and 3/4" wide) with prominent central veins. The leaves, which are opposite with a smooth margin, are often finely pubescent.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil