Phlox divaricata (Woodland Phlox)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic 

This lovely wildflower is native to rich forests and fields in portions of the Mid-Atlantic Region including NoVA (except Prince William County).* As the species name divaricata suggests, this shade-loving phlox has a spreading habit, making it a good woodland ground cover.

* It is native in DC. It is adventive (non-native, escaping from cultivation to roadsides) in DE and absent in the northeastern counties of PA. In VA, it is frequent to locally common in the mountains and Piedmont and rare in the inner Coastal Plain.

Print Version (Legal Size): Phlox divaricata (Woodland Phlox) Phlox divaricata, Woodland Phlox, Perennial Height: 3⁄4–11⁄2 foot Spread: 3⁄4–1 foot Bloom Color: Lavender, light blue-violet, pink or white Characteristics Mat-forming, evergreen herbaceous perennial Lance-shaped to elliptic green leaves Loose, flat flower clusters appear at the top of erect branches of hairy decumbent stems Delicate, showy and fragrant flowers possess notched/indented tips compared to the rounded/ angular tips of the mid-western subspecies Can form colonies as shoots root at nodes Attributes Tolerates clay soil and drought; rabbits and voles sometimes eat the roots; deer occasionally severely damage Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies like hair- streaks and swallowtails Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Rich, well-drained, organic Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade Water Requirements: Moist May go dormant when it is too hot, dry or sunny Powdery mildew and spider mites are problems so cut back stems after flowering Use as a ground cover in woodland gardens Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–8 Excellent Replacement for Alliaria petiolata - Garlic Mustard Ficaria verna - Fig Buttercup Ornithogalum species - Star of Bethlehem Vinca minor - Periwinkle Wisteria floribunda - Japanese Wisteria * It is native in DC. It is adventive (non-native, escaping from cultivation to roadsides) in DE and absent in the northeastern counties of PA. In VA, it is frequent to locally common in the mountains and Piedmont and rare in the inner Coastal Plain.
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets