wild blue phlox

(Phlox divaricata ssp. laphamii)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

wild blue phlox

NatureServe

N3N5 - Vulnerable to Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

 
Occurrence

 

 
Habitat

Moist soils. Rich, moist, deciduous woods; fields.

 
Flowering

April to June

     
Flower Color

Pale blue-purple to red-purple or white

     
Height

9 to 18

     

Identification

This is a 9 to 18 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on fertile and nonfertile shoots from a taproot and above-ground stolons.

Nonfertile stems recline on the ground with their tips ascending (decumbent). Fertile stems are erect, leafy, unbranched except near the inflorescence, green to reddish brown. Both types of stems are covered with long, fine, soft, white hairs. Nonfertile stems are shorter and less hairy than fertile stems.

The leaves are opposite, stalkless, and 1 to 2¼ long, to 1 wide. Leaves on nonfertile stems are narrowly egg-shaped to lance-shaped. They taper to a blunt or rounded tip. Leaves on fertile stems are lance-shaped and taper to a pointed tip but rarely to a sharp pointed tip. The margins of all of the leaves are untoothed. The lower leaves are almost hairless. The upper leaves are hairy.

The inflorescence is a loosely branched cluster of 9 to 30 flowers at the end of the flowering stem. It is covered with fine, glandular hairs.

The flowers are ¾ to 1 wide and fragrant. They have 5 pale blue-purple to red-purple or sometimes white petals. The petals unite at the base forming a long, thin corolla tube, then separate into 5 long, widely spreading lobes. The petal lobes are inversely egg-shaped. They abruptly narrow before the throat becoming much narrower toward the flower center than at their tips. The tips are rounded and may be slightly indented or slightly pointed but are not notched. The stamens are not visible at the opening of the corolla tube.

The fruit is a 3-chambered, egg-shaped capsule with usually 1, rarely 2, seeds per chamber.

 
Similar
Species

Downy phlox (Phlox pilosa ssp. fulgida), has much narrower leaves that narrow to a sharp, hardened tip. The petal lobes taper gradually to the throat. The stamens are visible at the opening of the corolla tube.

Wild sweet William (Phlox maculata) has an unbranched, cylinder-shaped inflorescence. The stamens are visible at the opening of the corolla tube.

Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a tall, cultivated plant that can get to six feet tall. The stamens are visible at the opening of the corolla tube.

Moss phlox (Phlox subulata ssp. subulata) is a prostrate ground cover with whorled, linear to awl-shaped leaves. The flower petals are notched at the tip. It is found in rocky areas and sandy or gravelly soil.

Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is much taller, has alternate, toothed leaves, and has flowers with four petals.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Polemoniaceae (phlox)

 

Subfamily:

Polemonioideae

 

Genus:

Phlox

 

Section:

Divaricatae

 
Synonyms

Phlox divaricata var. laphamii

 
Common
Names

blue phlox

forest phlox

Lapham’s phlox

sweet William

wild blue phlox

wild sweet-William

woodland phlox


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

corolla

A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.

 

decumbent

Reclining on the ground but with the tips ascending.

 

glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.

 

stolon

An above-ground, creeping stem that grows along the ground and produces roots and sometimes new plants at its nodes. A runner.

       

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Wayne Rasmussen


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  Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
Bill Keim
 
  Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)  

 

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Other Videos

 
  Phlox divaricata (Wild Blue Phlox)
PrairieMoonNursery
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 27, 2010

http://www.prairiemoon.com/ - This native Phlox is great for the woodland or a sunny location. Observe it blooming here in the Prairie Moon gardens April 21.

 
     
  Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)
wvoutdoorman
 
   
 
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Published on Apr 17, 2012

Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

 
     
  White Oak Sink - Blue Phlox
umichjohnno
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jan 26, 2011

A glimpse at one area of the incomparable White Oak Sink and its forest floor, carpeted with Blue Phlox and May-apple. Date taken: April 21, 2010.

 
     
  woodland phlox
Allan Armitage
 
   
 
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Published on Jun 21, 2013

 
     

 

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