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Phlox carolina (Carolina phlox)
Cressler, Alan

Phlox carolina

Phlox carolina L.

Carolina Phlox, Summer Phlox, Thickleaf Phlox

Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)


USDA Symbol: PHCA19

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This is an erect, perennial phlox, 24-36 in. tall. The slender, red-streaked flowering stems occur singly or in clusters. Thick-leaf phlox flowers are lavender to pink and arranged in loose, broadly cylindrical clusters. The leaves are bright-green, oval and leathery.

This phlox continues to bloom intermittently until frost.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Usually up to about 3 feet tall, but can reach 5 feet.
Leaf: Dark green.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Blooms mostly during the hottest part of the summer, occasionally continues until frost.


USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: S.w. GA to n.e. TX, n. to MD & s.e. MO
Native Habitat: Woodland edges & openings

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rich, acid loams and sands, but tolerates lime
Conditions Comments: This phlox continues to bloom intermittently until frost and is resistant to powdery mildew. Carolina phlox self-sows but is not aggressive.


Use Ornamental: Excellent flower garden plant.
Use Wildlife: Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies , Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes


Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed, cuttings, or division.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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