Phlox divaricata

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 8 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: wild sweet William
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Polemoniaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Rose/lavender or violet/blue
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil

Culture

Best grown in humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Prefers rich, moist, organic soils. Appreciates a light summer mulch which helps retain moisture and keep roots cool.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Woodland phlox is a spreading, native wildflower which forms mats of foliage with stems typically reaching 12-15" tall. As the common name suggests, this is a woodland species which occurs in rich woods, fields and along streams. Loose clusters of slightly fragrant, tubular, lilac to rose to blue flowers (to 1.5" wide) with five, flat, notched, petal-like lobes that appear at the stem tips in spring. Stems are both hairy and sticky. Lance-shaped to elliptic leaves (to 2" long). Can form large colonies over time as leafy shoots spread along the ground rooting at the nodes.

Problems

Powdery mildew can be a serious problem. Cutting back stems after flowering helps combat mildew. Spider mites can also be a problem, particularly in hot, dry conditions. Watch out for rabbits.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens, border fronts, wild gardens, native plant gardens or naturalized areas. Also an effective, shallow-rooted cover for early spring bulbs.