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Mountain Pink Phlox subulata

Other plants called Mountain Pink:

Phonetic Spelling
FLOCKS sub-yoo-LAH-tah
Description

Phlox subulata is vigorous and noted for its creeping habit and the profuse carpet of flowers that bloom early to mid-spring and then sparsely until frost. It is native to dry, rocky or sandy areas, savannas, rocky ledges, slopes, clearings, and open woodlands. The foliage mats are cushion-like, resembling moss, hence the common name of moss phlox.

The stems of Phlox subulata are green when young, becoming tan and woody with age. Older plantings thin out as new growth spreads away from the center of the plant. It has many cultivars with vibrant pink, red, lavender, blue-purple, or white flowers that cover the plant from late April to early May.  Shearing the plants back after flowering may encourage a second, denser growth and smaller flowering. Moss phlox may grow to a height of 6 inches and prefers sunny sites with well-drained, slightly alkaline soils.

Garden uses include rock gardens, edgings, foundation plantings, or ground covers in sunny areas of woodland gardens, slopes, native plant gardens or naturalized areas. It will also drape slightly over a  low rock wall. 

 Phlox subulata is relatively pest and disease-free and has moderate drought tolerance. It is resistant to powdery mildew (unlike most other species of phlox). Spider mites can be a problem in hot, dry conditions, and nematodes can cause damage to the leaves in wet/humid conditions. Rabbits may feed on the foliage but it is less palatable to deer.

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Rock & Water Garden Entryway Garden, Cabarrus County Extension Office Entrance Statement, Fescue Grass
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Alba'
  • 'Red Wing'
'Alba', 'Red Wing'
Tags:
#bees#purple#hummingbirds#red#white#evergreen#sun#showy flowers#blue#drought tolerant#perennial#white flowers#wildlife plant#purple flowers#pink flowers#showy#red flowers#herb garden#cpp#edging#low flammability#xeriscape#NC native#neutral ph#deer resistant#lavender flowers#foundation planting#native garden#fire resistant#groundcover#naturalizes#rock gardens#spring interest#alkaline soil tolerant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#fantz#poor soils tolerant#food source summer#border front#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#sandy soils tolerant#rocky soils tolerant#rock walls#butterfly friendly#HS302#butterflies#pollinators#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#audubon#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Alba'
  • 'Red Wing'
'Alba', 'Red Wing'
Tags:
#bees#purple#hummingbirds#red#white#evergreen#sun#showy flowers#blue#drought tolerant#perennial#white flowers#wildlife plant#purple flowers#pink flowers#showy#red flowers#herb garden#cpp#edging#low flammability#xeriscape#NC native#neutral ph#deer resistant#lavender flowers#foundation planting#native garden#fire resistant#groundcover#naturalizes#rock gardens#spring interest#alkaline soil tolerant#native wildflower#wildflower garden#fantz#poor soils tolerant#food source summer#border front#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#sandy soils tolerant#rocky soils tolerant#rock walls#butterfly friendly#HS302#butterflies#pollinators#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#audubon#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Phlox
    Species:
    subulata
    Family:
    Polemoniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and central United States
    Distribution:
    Michigan, Ontario and New York south to Tennessee and mainly in the Appalachians to North Carolina.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Rabbits eat the foliage.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Defines Paths
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 4 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Dense
    Horizontal
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    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:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Inconspicuous oval seed capsules
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Pink moss has loose, terminal, flattened clusters (cymes) of fragrant, tubular flowers (to 3/4” wide) that bloom in April-May. The flowers are red-purple to bluish-purple, pink, or infrequently white. Each flower has five, flat, petal-like, rounded, notched lobes. The calyx is 5-lobed, green, and lobes are awl-shaped, tapering to a point The corolla is slender, tubular with the 5 lobes spreading at right angles to the tube, and less than an inch in size.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Subulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The foliage of the Pink moss is prostrate with creeping stems. Leaves are opposite to clustered and densely arranged and may have a fuzzy margin. The leaves are semi-evergreen, small, simple, linear to subulate, acute, entire, semi-rigid, sharply pointed light green to gray-green, and awl-shaped. They grow up to an inch in length and are needle-like, densely arranged with a prickly effect when handled.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Long branches with short floral stems. Older growth is knotty, semi-woody, and loses most of its foliage.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Fire
    Pollution
    Poor Soil
    Salt