Phlox divaricata L.
Wild blue phlox, Louisiana phlox, Blue woodland phlox, Sweet william, Wild sweet william
Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)
USDA Symbol: PHDI5
The decumbent stem of wild blue phlox roots at the nodes sending up erect branches 8-18 in. Loose, flat clusters of fragrant, lavender or pink flowers with notched petals occur at the top of these stems. The leaves on decumbent stems are broader than those on flowering stems. A loose cluster of slightly fragrant, light blue flowers tops a somewhat sticky stem that produces leafy, creeping shoots at the base.
This beautiful species is most common in midwestern woods and fields. It is sometimes known as Wild Sweet William, a name also given to P. maculata. The mature plants in the eastern part of the range have notched petals; those in the western do not. The basal runners of the lovely Creeping Phlox (P. stolonifera) form large patches; it has fewer stem leaves and fewer flowers in its clusters; it occurs from Pennsylvania and Ohio south to northern Georgia.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: 8 to 18 inches
Flower: Flowers up to 1 inch across
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Red , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Normally blue, lavender, or white.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: S.w. Que. to MI, s. to NC & AL
Native Habitat: Moist, rich, deciduous woods and bluffs
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2) , Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Rich, moist, acid soils, but also found in calcareous areas. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, attractive, colorful blooms for the perennial garden.
Use Wildlife: Flowers attract butterflies, including swallowtails, gray hairstreaks, and western pygmy blues. Roots consumed by rabbits and voles.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Description: Propagate by root division, seed, layering, or softwood cuttings (rooted stem) taken in late spring.
Seed Collection: Mature in late spring.
Seed Treatment: Cold-moist stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Remove spent blossoms, Prevent complete soil dryness, Fertilize in spring with rose food if soil isnt rich enough.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
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January 09, 2008
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From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Amandas Garden - Springwater, NY
Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI
Far South Wholesale Nursery - Austin, TX
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 766 - Dale Groom's Texas Gardening Guide (2002) Groom, D.
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.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
* 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
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 resourcesUSDA: Find Phlox divaricata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Phlox divaricata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Phlox divaricata
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff