Native Plant of the Week: Woodland Phlox ~ Phlox divaricata

Woodland Phlox ~ Phlox divaricata

If you're looking for a showy, spring flowering woodland native to add color to your shady landscape, then Woodland Phlox is an excellent candidate.

The five parted light blue, white or pale purple colored flowers are extremely fragrant, rivalling the fragrance of lilacs.

This perennial has a spreading habit forming a nice cluster or mass. When in flower, it can reach heights of around 20" in rich mesic soils, but shorter in drier sites.

The Woodland Phlox in my own landscape does extremely well in the sandy, well drained soils in partial shade.
It works well in a woodland border, or intermixed with other shade tolerant woodland natives such as ferns, early meadow rue, and virginia waterleaf.

For a great color combination, combine with the bright yellow/orange flowers of Celandine Poppy ~ Stylophorum diphyllum (native to eastern North America).

I have observed Bumble Bees and Hummingbird Clearwing moths visiting the flowers of Woodland Phlox. The foliage (and flowers) can get browsed by herbivores, either deer or rabbits but I have not witnessed which is the culprit.

Kartesz, J.T., The Biota of North America Program (BONAP).
North American Plant Atlas. Chapel Hill, N.C.
Woodland Phlox is native to eastern North America. See map for range.