Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)
|Also known as:||Fall Phlox, Summer Phlox|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; average to moist soil; open woods, woodland edges, thickets, along streams, gardens|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||2 to 6 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Branching cluster of short-stalked flowers at the top of the plant. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across with 5 petals fused at the base, forming a slender tube about 1 inch long. Inside the tube are yellow-tipped stamens, a few of which barely poke out of the tube. Flower color is naturally white, pale to deep pink or pinkish purple, but cultivated plants include deep purple and salmon to coral colored flowers. There is often a ring of darker or lighter coloring around the mouth of the tube. At the base of the tube is a slender calyx, hairless or variously hairy, with 5 narrow teeth.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are thin, 2 to 6 inches long, ½ to 1½ inches wide, narrowly oblong to lance-elliptic, toothless, usually hairless but with minute hairs around the edges, pointed at the tip, narrowed to nearly heart-shaped at the base, short-stalked in the lower plant and mostly stalkless or nearly so in the upper. The conspicuous veins are joined to form a border effect around the edges. Attachment is opposite. The stem is erect, round or obscurely angled, hairless or minutely hairy, and heavily branched in the upper plant.
Garden Phlox is not considered native to Minnesota, though it is native farther to our south and east. It is very popular in the nursery trade, widely cultivated, and does escape into the wild. In natural areas, it is far taller than any of our native Phlox species, with a bushier panicle of flowers and wider range of flower colors. The leaf shape and venation further distinguish it from other species.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Garden Phlox plants
- Garden Phlox, escaped from cultivation
- coral colored flowers
- white flowered Garden Phlox
- typical pink colored flowers
- broader leaves
Photos by K. Chayka taken along a roadside in Winona County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Winona County and in various private gardens.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?