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Phlox divaricata is known by several common names including Woodland Phlox, Wild Blue Phlox, and Wild Sweet William. Woodland Wild Blue Phlox is one of our favorite spring flowers often found along streams and in open woods. Phlox divaricata forms clumps 12 inches tall covered with delicate 1.5 inch rosy-lavender to soft pink flowers. Phlox divaricata is a favorite in the wild garden due to its attractive flowers in early spring that require little or no maintenance. Woodland Phlox (Wild Sweet William) is spectacular as a mass in an open woodland, perfect for the border of a shade garden, or naturalized in sweeps at the base of large trees. Phlox divaricata prefers moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil and high open shade and accepts sunny conditions with moisture but will go dormant in drought conditions.
Wild Phlox divaricata Woodland Phlox can be used as an showy ground cover that will naturalize and has attractive fragrant flowers attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.
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). Wild Phlox divaricata Woodland Phlox can form large colonies over time as leafy shoots spread along the ground rooting at the nodes.
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. Rabbits like to nibble on Phlox plants.
Found in a very rich soil on the edge of a mixed wood forest in the shade. Madoc Ontario Canada. Aug 2012.