Phlox divaricata 'Fuller's White'
Common Name: wild sweet William
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Polemoniaceae
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: Cream white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Heavy Shade, 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.

'Fuller's White' tolerates more sun than the species.

Noteworthy Characteristics

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.

'Fuller's White' is a dwarf, spreading perennial which only grows 8-12" tall. Clusters of slightly fragrant, tubular, 1.5" diameter, white flowers with five, flat, petal-like, notched lobes appear at the stem ends in spring for about 4 weeks. More floriferous than the species, with flowers virtually covering the plant during the period of bloom. Lance-shaped to elliptic leaves (to 1.5" long).

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.