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Phlox (pronounced "flocks" and meaning 'flame' in Greek) is a genus of 67 species of annual or perennial flowering plants. Some species flower in early spring while others flower in summer into fall. Most species are native to temperate North America but a few species are also from northeastern Asia. They are found growing in diverse habitats from alpine locations to open woodlands and prairies.

Summer PhloxIdentifying Phlox

Phlox range in color from pale blue to bright red to white. Some species such as Phlox glaberrima (Smooth Phlox) grow to 1.5 m tall, while others, such as Phlox stolonifera (Creeping Phlox), form low mats only a few centimetres in height.

Growing Phlox

Phlox is best grown in well-drained soil, exposed to partial shade to partial sun.

Several species of phlox are commonly cultivated in gardens. Most cultivated phlox, with the notable exception of Drummond phlox, are perennial. Phlox cultivars are available in shades of white, purple, blue, pink, and yellow. Phlox are valued in the garden for their ability to attract butterflies.


The foliage of Phlox is sometimes eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Dot Moth, Gazoryctra wielgusi, Hummingbird Hawk-moth and Schinia indiana which feeds exclusively on P. pilosa. Phlox species are also a popular food source for groundhogs, rabbits and deer. The flowers, when fertilized, typically produce one relatively large seed.

Selected Species of Phlox:

  • Phlox adsurgens - Northern Phlox
  • Phlox alyssifolia
  • Phlox andicola
  • Phlox austromontana
  • Phlox bifida - Sand Phlox
  • Phlox borealis
  • Phlox bryoides
  • Phlox buckleyi - Swordleaf Phlox
  • Phlox caespitosa - Cushion Phlox
  • Phlox carolina - Thickleaf Phlox
  • Phlox cuspidata - Pointed Phlox
  • Phlox diffusa - Spreading Phlox
  • Phlox divaricata - Blue Phlox or Woodland Phlox
  • Phlox douglasii
  • Phlox drummondii - Drummond Phlox
  • Phlox floridana - Florida Phlox
  • Phlox glaberrima - Smooth Phlox
  • Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens - Carpet Phlox
  • Phlox idahonis - Idaho Phlox
  • Phlox kelseyi - Kelsey's Phlox
  • Phlox maculata - Meadow Phlox
  • Phlox missoulensis - Missoula Phlox
  • Phlox multiflora - Flowery Phlox, Rocky Mountain Phlox
  • Phlox nana - Santa Fe Phlox
  • Phlox nivalis - Trailing Phlox
  • Phlox ovata - Mountain Phlox
  • Phlox paniculata - Summer Phlox
  • Phlox pilosa - Prairie Phlox
  • Phlox pulchra - Alabama Phlox
  • Phlox sibirica - Siberian Phlox
  • Phlox speciosa - Bush Phlox
  • Phlox stansburyi - Pink Phlox
  • Phlox stolonifera - Creeping Phlox
  • Phlox subulata - Moss Phlox
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