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Vick, Albert F. W.
Phlox divaricata L.
Wild blue phlox, Louisiana phlox, Blue woodland phlox, Sweet william, Wild sweet william
USDA Symbol: phdi5
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Retention: Evergreen Size Notes:
8 to 18 inches Leaf:
Flowers up to 1 inch across
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Red , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Normally blue, lavender, or white.
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 USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
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.
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:
Butterflies Nectar Source:
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
Ground cover for trails in Northeast Texas
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Michigan native plants for shady, low traffic area
May 10, 2006
Hello, I am looking for a recommendation for a Michigan native groundcover. I live adjacent to the Rouge River watershed and want to buy the right thing. The location is shady, infrequently walked ...
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From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Texas Discovery Gardens
- Dallas, TXDelaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DE
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
Record Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff