phlox

phlox

[floks]
phlox, common name for plants of the genus Phlox and for members of the Polemoniaceae, a family of herbs (and some shrubs and vines) found chiefly in the W United States. The family includes many popular wild and garden flowers, especially the genera Phlox, Polemonium (called Jacob's ladder), and Gilia, a plant common in desert and mountain areas. Although most phloxes are perennial, the common garden phloxes are annual hybrids of the Texas species Phlox drummondii. The moss pink (Phlox subulata) is a creeping evergreen plant native to the E United States and often cultivated in rock gardens. A few species of phlox and polemonium are found in E Asia. The phlox family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Polemoniales.

Moss pink (Phlox subulata)

Any of about 65 species of plants (genus Phlox), belonging to the family Polemoniaceae, admired both in gardens and in the wilds for their clustered heads of flowers. All species but one are native to North America. Phlox is herbaceous, usually with oval or linear leaves; it has heads of massed tubular flowers with five flaring lobes. A few species are woody, but most are herbaceous annuals or perennials. Sizes range from the 5-ft-high (1.5-m) summer phlox (P. paniculata) to the 18-in.-high (45-cm) woodland perennial blue phlox (P. divaricata) to the low-creeping, freely branching, evergreen moss pink, or creeping phlox (P. subulata).

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Phlox (pronounced /flɒks/ or "flocks"; from the Latin for a flame-colored flower, which is from the Greek φλόξ, meaning 'flame'; plural "phlox" or "phloxes") is a genus of 67 species of annual or perennial flowering plants. Some species flower in early spring while others flower in summer into fall. Most species are native to temperate North America but a few species are also from northeastern Asia. They are found growing in diverse habitats from alpine locations to open woodlands and prairies.

Phlox flowers range in color from pale blue to bright red to white. Some species such as Phlox glaberrima (Smooth Phlox) grow to 1.5 m tall, while others, such as Phlox stolonifera (Creeping Phlox), form low mats only a few centimetres in height.

The foliage of Phlox is sometimes eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Dot Moth, Gazoryctra wielgusi, Hummingbird Hawk-moth and Schinia indiana (which feeds exclusively on P. pilosa). Phlox species are also a popular food source for groundhogs, rabbits and deer. The flowers, when fertilized, typically produce one relatively large seed.Selected species

Cultivation

Several species of phlox are commonly cultivated in gardens. Most cultivated phlox, with the notable exception of Drummond phlox, are perennial. Phlox cultivars are available in shades of white, purple, blue, pink, and yellow. Most are best grown in well-drained soil, exposed to partial shade to partial sun. Phlox are valued in the garden for their ability to attract butterflies.

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