Phlox subulata L.

Moss Phlox


CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 2

© DETenaglia

Family - Polemoniaceae

Habit - Perennial forb with a branched, woody rootstock and short rhizomes, forming dense mats.

Stems - Herbaceous, decumbent, often reddish, hirsute, to 30cm long, from fibrous roots. Nodes not evenly spaced on stem.


© DETenaglia

Leaves - Opposite or whorled, sessile, subulate, to 1.5cm long, 2mm wide, green.

Inflorescence - Terminal cymose or paniculate cluster of typically 3-9 flowers.

Flowers - Corolla salverform, pinkish, rose, white, or purplish. Corolla tube to 1.3cm long. Corolla lobes 5, notched at the apex, typically obovate, 1cm long, 6mm broad, glabrous. Stamens 5, borne near base of corolla tube at different heights. Calyx tube to 5mm long, 3mm broad, hirsute. Calyx lobes 5, attenuate, 2.5-3mm long.


© DETenaglia

Phlox_subulata_calyx.jpg Calyx prior to anthesis.

© DETenaglia

Flowering - March - May.

Habitat - Cultivated.

Origin - Native to the Eastern U.S.

Lookalikes - P. bifida.

Other info. - This is a popular little plant for rocky areas and flower bed borders. There are many horticultural varieties. The plant is perennial and does keep some green foliage through the winter. Here are some other flower colors:


© DETenaglia


© DETenaglia

Photographs taken near King, NC., 3-22-03, and in Brown Summit, NC., 4-17-03 (DETenaglia).