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Phlox pilosa (Downy phlox) | NPIN
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Phlox pilosa (Downy phlox)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Phlox pilosa

Phlox pilosa L.

Downy phlox, Prairie phlox, Fragrant phlox

Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: phpi

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A mounded perennial, downy phlox grows 1-2 ft. tall and bears clusters of fragrant, pale pink to lavender flowers. The petals of the showy flowers are joined at their bases into an elongate tube. Stems and narrow, paired leaves are covered with soft hairs.

There are nine subspecies of this phlox, each occupying a different portion of the range.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 1-2 feet.
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
Native Distribution: CT to ND, s. to FL & TX
Native Habitat: Dry, open woods; sand hills; prairies; roadsides, Post Oak Woods, pinelands, and thickets in eastern half of Texas, grasslands and rocky slopes on Edwards Plateau.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Sandy or rocky, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: A mounded perennial, downy phlox bears clusters of fragrant, pale pink to lavender flowers. The petals of the showy flowers are joined at their bases into an elongate tube. Stems and narrow, paired leaves are covered with soft hairs.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Prairie phlox attracts long-tongued bees, butterflies and skippers.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: No

Propagation

Description: Propagation is possible by stem cuttings in late spring, root cuttings taken in fall after leaves have reappeared, or by seed. Seed is unpredictable.
Seed Collection: Fruits open abruptly, so save the seed by tying a mesh bag around the developing fruits.
Seed Treatment: Germination is enhanced by cold stratification – one week at 30 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Austin Shade Plants for Pots
March 28, 2010
I live in a condo in Austin Texas so I don't have any flower beds or yard space. I would like to put a few large pots of plants and flowers on my front patio but it's mostly shaded during the day. W...
view the full question and answer

Native flowers for Door County, Wisconsin
September 02, 2009
We recently were required to put in a new septic system on our vacation property in Door County, WI. This left us with a clearing on our wooded lot where the septic field is now located. The installer...
view the full question and answer

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1991 VOL. 8, NO.2 - Wildflower Outlook, Photography Seminars Offered, Ten Favorite Wildflower Areas,...

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Phlox pilosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Phlox pilosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Phlox pilosa

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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