The Phlox genus encompasses nearly 70 species, and includes annuals, perennials and shrubs. Most of the perennial varieties are upright, but a few species are mat forming. Most of the popular garden varieties derive from the species Phlox paniculata, an elegant, erect, herbaceous perennial with sword-shaped leaves. It produces loose, branching clusters of five-petalled flowers (or panicles, hence ‘paniculata’). These are typically white, pale lilac or darker purple and continue to appear throughout the summer and into the early autumn.Buy Phlox Here!
Phlox arrived in the UK as a garden plant from its native North America in the early 1800s and soon became a firm favourite for the summer herbaceous border. The plants not only produce an abundance of colour but also a delicious fragrance that evokes the very essence of a traditional English cottage garden. The flowers are pollen and nectar-rich, and they attract hordes of pollinators such as honey bees, bumble bees and butterflies.
The name ‘phlox’ comes from the Greek for flame, perhaps making reference to the wild species’ vivid flower colours.
This article focuses on caring for the upright, herbaceous, perennial phloxes.