Pale pink simple flowers
Moss phlox (Phlox subulata) ‘Emerald Pink’. Photo: Dow Gardens,

Roadside stands of wild phlox blend in with the grass most of the year, but in late winter and spring these plants burst forth with color. Flowers vary from red and lavender to pink and white.

Cultivars include ‘Crimson Beauty’ (red flowers), ‘Emerald Cushion’ (pink flowers), ‘Millstream’ (white flowers with a crimson eye), ‘Millstream Daphne’ (dark blue flowers), and ‘White Delight’ (white flowers). These are all cultivated varieties; wild phlox has a great amount of variation.

Plants grow to only 6 inches tall, form thick clumps and make a good ground cover. Phlox can be used as a ground cover or allowed to grow cascading down a wall. They can also be used as a stabilizer for a sloping landscape.

As far as maintenance goes, cutting back foliage after flowering can encourage denser growth and sometimes a weaker second flower display.

UF/IFAS Publications

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