Woodland phlox is a spreading, mat-forming native wildflower. The foliage is glossy, medium-green, and lance-shaped. It roots at the nodes. Loose, flat clusters of fragrant lavender or pink flowers with notched petals attract butterflies.
Prefers bright shade and rich, moist, organic soils, but will grow in dry shade once established. Appreciates a light summer mulch which helps retain moisture and keep roots cool. Phlox divaricata rambles through the garden less like a groundcover and more like a part of a lovely patchwork quilt. It spreads slowly via rhizomes. Do not cut this plant back in fall – this could result in winter loss. Trims (if desired but not necessary) are best done after flowering in late spring.
Phlox divaricata ‘Blue Moon’ was selected for outstanding violet-blue flower color and very full flower petals by Bill Cullina of the New England Wildflower Society.
Bloom time: April to May
Sun: part shade to full shade
Deer resistant but rabbits like to munch
photo credit: David J. Stang