Phlox subulata L.
Creeping Phlox, Moss Phlox, Moss Pink, Rock Pink
Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)
USDA Symbol: phsu3
A perennial forming evergreen mats of needle-like foliage, covered by masses of flowers in various shades of pink, purple or white. A low plant, forming moss-like mats, with pink to lavender (rarely white) flowers in clusters at stem ends, collectively forming a continuous carpet of flowers.
Various color forms of this species are cultivated, especially in rock gardens. Those growing wild in New England have escaped from cultivation. Trailing Phlox (P. nivalis), found in sandy pine or oak barrens from Virginia south to Florida and west to Texas, has unnotched petals. Sand Phlox (P. bifida) occurs in sandy habitats in the Midwest and has petals with notches at least 1/8 of an inch (3 mm) deep.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AR , CT , DE , IA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , UT , VA , VT , WI , WV
Native Distribution: Long Island to KY, s. to mts. of NC & AR; sometimes escaping as far n. as ME
Native Habitat: Rocky ledges, slopes & clearings
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Dry, sandy or rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Even in the poorest of soils, this plant spreads quickly. Good for erosion control on bare or freshly disturbed slopes. Phlox nivalis and Phlox bifida are similar but usually not as colorful as P. subulata.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagate by division or cuttings taken after blooming.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Groundcover for sunny yard in New Jersey
July 23, 2008
Hi. I'm looking for ground cover for a mostly sunny section of my yard. The ground we are looking to cover is next to a slight hill with in a few feet of an in ground pool. I would like something tha...
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From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Phlox subulata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Phlox subulata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Phlox subulata
MetadataRecord Modified: 2019-03-19
Research By: TWC Staff