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This perennial wildflower has fertile shoots about 1-1½' tall and infertile shoots that are less than 1' tall. Their stems are light green to reddish brown, terete, and pubescent to glandular-hairy. Pairs of opposite leaves occur along these stems that are up to 2½" long and ¾" across. These leaves are medium green, narrowly lanceolate to ovate in shape, and sparsely short-pubescent to short-hairy. The leaf bases are sessile or they slightly clasp their stems. The leaf tips tend to be blunt, especially those of the infertile shoots. The central stem of each fertile shoot terminates in a rounded cluster of flowers about 2-3½" across. Each flower is about 1" across, consisting of a corolla with 5 spreading lobes, a calyx with 5 teeth, 5 inserted stamens, and a pistil. The corolla can be light blue-violet, lavender, pink, or white and its throat consists of a narrow opening. The corolla base is narrowly tubular. For this subspecies of Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata divaricata), the corolla lobes are oblanceolate, but shallowly notched at their tips to a depth of 1-3 mm. The sepals are light green to purple and glandular-hairy. The teeth of sepals are linear in shape; they extend to nearly the entire length of the sepals. The branches and pedicels of the inflorescence are light green to purple, terete, and glandular-hairy. The blooming period occurs from mid-spring to early summer, lasting about 1 month. The flowers have a pleasant fragrance. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by ovoid seed capsules about 4 mm. in length. Each capsule contains several small seeds. The root system is stoloniferous, forming small clonal colonies of plants.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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