Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata subsp. laphamii) in the Phloxes Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Woodland Phlox
Give a thumbs up Wild Sweet William
Give a thumbs up Blue Phlox
Give a thumbs up Forest Phlox
Give a thumbs up Wild Blue Phlox

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 12 to 18 inches
Plant Spread: 12 inches
Leaves: Semi-evergreen
Fruit: Other: Seeds are carried inside a capsule, which splits open when ripe and throws the seeds away from the parent plant.
Fruiting Time: Summer
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Flower Color: Blue
Lavender
Pink
White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Groundcover
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Stratify seeds: Seeds need alternating periods of warm and cold stratification to germinate
Can handle transplanting
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Layering
Division
Pollinators: Moths and Butterflies
Bees

Image

Photo gallery:
Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
By Joy
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Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
By Joy
Give a thumbs up
Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
By Joy
Give a thumbs up

Comments:
Posted by Cyclaminist (Minneapolis, Minnesota - Zone 5a) on May 4, 2015 10:53 PM

Phlox divaricata subsp. laphamii has petals with rounded ends, while subsp. divaricata has petals with a notch at the end.

I bought one plant perhaps 4 years ago, and now have drifts in several areas of the yard. The flower color is very light, from blue-lavender to white, almost the color of the clear sky. The flowers are fragrant, and because I have so many, they're almost as fragrant as a lilac bush.

This is one of the few plants that really does well in dry shade. Minneapolis has sandy loam, and under the trees the soil is very dry unless it's watered. Once the phlox is established (after a year or two), it doesn't need watering in the summer.

I highly recommend planting this in drifts, because it looks best, and smells best, that way. Plant it around or over early spring bulbs (like Scilla, squill), and it will bloom just when they are finishing.

To make a clump larger, find the thick stems (not the thin flower stems) and push them down into the soil. Stick a pair of twigs into the ground on either side to hold them down. The thick stems will root, and send up a set of flower stems next year. You can also cut the thick stems off and root them as cuttings.

Because of its creeping stems, woodland phlox is a groundcover, and it doesn't grow well with another groundcover around it. It needs to have the leaves on its creeping stems uncovered so that they get sun. Don't try to grow it next to lamium or wild ginger.

Phlox will also self-seed. Leave the flowers on the plant (don't deadhead) and let the seeds ripen. When they are ripe, the seed pods shoot the seeds away from the parent plant. I've found seedlings in the lawn, and moved them into new areas of the garden. That's why I have so many plants. Maybe you can pick the seeds when they're ripe and plant them in pots, but I'm too lazy to do that.

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