I love introducing you to new wildflowers, but, this month I want to honor a very old and dear wildflower friend.
Long time readers know how much I adore this beauty. I can't imagine gardening without her.
But, she's making a come back. Believe it or not she's very happy in the sunny Susan's Bed despite the shallow soil and limestone bedrock. She gets more attention and a good soaking when the summer droughts arrive.
P pilosa is a stoloniferous, semi-evergreen native wildflower which can form large colonies. Although, I've never heard anyone call PPPP a thug, some gardeners may not appreciate how quickly it can spread in rich soil. Colonizing is a plus for me, I love that it makes a big statement and unlike some colonizing plants, it's easy to lift and transplant.
|Hairy stems and leaves
Phlox pilosa is about a foot tall in my garden. It has narrow, opposite lance like leaves. The inflorescence is a panicle of loosely branched clusters of individually stalked flowers (cymes) atop the stem and from the upper leaf axils. Prairie Phlox is also called Downy Phlox for the somewhat hairy appearance of the stems and leaves.
Common names: Downy Phlox, Prairie Phlox, Fragrant Phlox
Size: 1 to 2 foot tall
Color: shades of pink
Frangrance: Yes and noticeable on warm days
Native Range: Connecticut south to Florida, west to eastern North Dakota, south through the eastern part of the prairie states to most of Oklahoma and Texas as far as west Texas, south into Coahuila
Zone: 4 to 9
Bloom Time: April to June (in my garden)
Sun: Full sun, part sun
Water: Medium to dry (but not xeric)
Pollinators: Hummingbirds, Butterflies, long tongued bees, Flies
Comments: Do yourself a favor and plant this beauty, the bees and butterflies will thank you.
Pretty pink fragrant flowers, long bloom, easy to grow, high wildlife value is how this plant got Practically Perfect Pink Phlox as its sobriquet.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.