Phlox pilosa L.
Prairie Phlox, Downy Phlox
Family - Polemoniaceae
Stems - To +40cm tall, herbaceous, erect, typically simple below but branching at inflorescence, single or multiple from base, from taproot, simple to glandular pubescent.
Leaves - Opposite(maybe a few alternate bracts in inflorescence), sessile, linear to linear-lanceolate or ovate, entire, acute to attenuate, rounded at base, to +/-5cm long, +/-1cm broad, pilose to glandular pubescent, with single prominent midrib.
Inflorescence - Terminal and axillary cymes, many flowered (+/-50). Peduncles and pedicels densely glandular pubescent. Pedicels to +/-9mm long. Flowers often subtended by linear-lanceolate bracts.
Flowers - Corolla various shades of purple or rarely white, 5-lobed. Corolla tube to 1.5cm long, 2mm in diameter, with multicellular hairs externally. Corolla lobes spreading, to 1.5cm long, 5-8mm broad obovate, glabrous. Stamens 5, adnate at different levels in corolla tube, mostly included. Anthers yellow, 1.5mm long. Style 1-3mm long. Stigma 3-lobed. Lobes -1mm long. Ovary glabrous, green, 1.1mm long, superior, 2-3-locular. Calyx densely glandular pubescent, accrescent. Calyx tube to 2mm long, 5-lobed. Lobes linear-attenuate, 8mm long, 1mm broad, connected by scarious tissue for 2-3mm above calyx tube, often with some purplish coloring.
Flowering - April - July, sometimes again in the late fall.
Habitat - Rocky or dry open woods, valleys, thickets, meadows, prairies, glades.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This is a popular
little plant because of its striking floral displays and the easy manner
in which it can be grown. The plant takes readily from seed and produces
much seed every year. The plant itself is perennial.
Photographs taken on Taum Sauk Mountain, MO., 5-23-03 and 5-31-03.