Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Phlox Paniculata

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Phlox paniculata 'Purple Flame' (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens London)

Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’ (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.2m

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Polemoniaceae

Phlox paniculata 'Purple Flame' Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens London)

Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’ Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens London)

Phlox paniculata is a deciduous herbaceous perennial with a bushy upright habit. Its dark green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up to 8cm long and 3cm broad. There are numerous varieties of this perennial and Its fragrant flowers appear in a range of colours including blue, purple, pink and white, are up to 25mm across and appear in terminal panicles.

Phlox paniculata, commonly known as Phlox, Garden Phlox or Perennial Phlox, is native to east USA. This perennial may contract mildew, good air circulation around the plant my help to prevent this.

Phlox paniculata 'Purple Flame' Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens London)

Phlox paniculata ‘Purple Flame’ Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Phlox is from the Greek and is the former ancient name for Lychnis. Paniculata is derived from the Latin meaning ‘flowers in panicles’.

The landscape architect may find Phlox paniculata useful a part of a mixed herbaceous planting scheme. It may be used as part of a wildlife garden planting scheme as it is very attractive to nectar loving insects.

Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise' Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens London)

Phlox paniculata ‘Blue Paradise’ Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens London)

Ecologically, Phlox paniculata is attractive to nectar loving insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given a number Phlox paniculata varieties their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Phlox paniculata prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislike poorly drained or dry soils.

Phlox paniculata 'David' Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens London)

Phlox paniculata ‘David’ Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens London)

Phlox paniculata 'Mother Of Pearl' Flower (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Phlox paniculata ‘Mother Of Pearl’ Flower (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Phlox paniculata requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring or autumn.


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