Common Name: wild sweet William
Type: Herbaceous perennial
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
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil
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.
Phlox divaricata, commonly called 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.
The genus name is derived from the Greek word phlox meaning flame in reference to the intense flower colors of some varieties.
Specific epithet means spreading.
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.
Rock gardens, border fronts, wild gardens, native plant gardens or naturalized areas. Also an effective, shallow-rooted cover for early spring bulbs.