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- Phlox divericata Hardy Planting Zones - 3-8 Sun or Shade - Part Shade to Full Shade Mature Height - .75-1' Mature Width - .75-1' Bloom Season - April-May Gardener Status - Beginner
The Wild Blue Phlox, also called Sweet William, is a small flowering plant that is native to the woodlands of Eastern North America. It is a small plant, only growing 10-20 inches in height. Its leaves are opposite, slightly hairy, and without stalks. Stems are likewise hairy. Flowers appear in late spring and early summer, and can appear in several colors. The most common color is a pale pastel blue, but some varieties have purple, pink, or white flowers. The flowers are about 1.5 inches across, with five flat lobes in a shape similar to a five-pointed star.
These are very beautiful little bundles of flowers that add both a touch of color and a pleasant scent to any garden. Phlox requires cross-pollination in order to reproduce, which means that it needs help from other creatures to spread its pollen. In this case, only long-tongued pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies are able to reach far enough to obtain the nectar and pollen. This plant is hardy in zones 3-8.
Wild Blue Phlox has a very shallow root system, preferring to spread itself along the surface rather than extending deep roots downward. This makes transplanting this species much easier, but also means that the plant will need more surface space. Its latin name, "Divaricata", means "with a spreading and straggling habit". This plant also has the ability to sprout roots from its nodes in order to anchor itself and continue spreading.
When this plant first begins to grow, the roots will form stolons which will then develop into non-flowering shoots. These shoots will gradually form a loose mat that can be up to a foot high. This mat will not die off in winter, which is why this plant is referred to as a semi-evergreen plant. The flowering stems will die off with the winter frost, but the rest of the plant will survive.
Although this plant is best suited for the moist soil and shady conditions of its native woodlands, it is a very adaptable plant that can survive in a wide range of soil conditions. Partial shade is recommended.
Phlox Darvicata is a low growing plant and makes an outstanding ground cover. It looks bright and lovely when in bloom as it can have blooms in pale blue, lavender and a lovely shade of pink. They have tiny green leaves and grow to become pretty thick. They grow best when planted in moist and well-drained soils and areas. These plants did great when planted in containers and placed around randomly in a garden area. They usually bloom in the spring and show their colorful blooms on into the fall months.