Phloxes are annual or more often perennial herbs, taprooted or less often fibrous-rooted, with opposite (or the uppermost alternate) leaves, which are entire, often narrow and needlelike, frequently joined at the base. The flowers are borne in terminal clusters which are often reduced to a single flower. The calyx is barely enlarged after flowering, with prominent membranous or thin, dry, translucent intervals between the more herb-like ridges of the 5 lobes, which are ruptured by the developing capsule. The corolla is flaring, with slender tube and 5 abruptly spreading lobes, which are colored white to pink, purple, or blue. The filaments are short and unequally placed inside the corolla tube. The anthers are sometimes not protruding, or often some of them are partly protruding outside the other parts. The capsules contain usually 1, sometimes 2-4 seeds per ovary cell. The genus consists of about 50 or 60 species worldwide, native to N. America and n. Asia, best developed in w. N. America. The name is a direct transliteration of the Greek word for flame, referring to the brightly colored flowers.
Guide to Identify Presented Species of Genus Phlox
LEAVES MOSTLY AT LEAST 25 MM LONG
P. longifolia Long-leaved Phlox Perennial, 10-40 cm tall, often woody at the base. Dry, open rocky places.
Flowers white, 2-3 cm wide, in clusters. The style is 6-15 mm long.
Leaves linear, mostly 1.5-8 cm long and 1-3 mm wide.
LEAVES ABOUT 12-25 MM LONG
P. multiflora Rocky Mountain Phlox Mat-forming perennial, loosely almost erect, up to 10 cm tall. Mountains.
Flowers white, about 2 cm wide, few on stem tips. The style is 5.5-8 mm long.
Leaves slightly rough-surfaced, linear, 12-30 mm long and 1-2 mm wide.
LEAVES MOSTLY LESS THAN 5 MM LONG
P. albomarginata White-edged Phlox Cushioned perennial, up to 5 cm tall, glandular. Rocky places, high mountains.
Flowers white, 15-20 mm wide, solitary on stem tips. Style 5-8 mm long.
Leaves broadly lanceolate, 2-7 mm long and 1-2.5 mm wide, thick-edged.