Phlox alyssifolia (Blue Phlox) - photos and description

 


Phlox alyssifolia and Phlox hoodii growing side by side in above photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General: Plants prostrate from a woody caudex. Stems pubescent with long hairs.

Flowers: Flowers few, solitary, terminal are pale lavender to white. We measured flowers from 16 to 20 mm in diameter.

Leaves: Leaves are oblong to linear, 6 to 15 mm in length, with sharp tips. Leaves with a few long hairs on margin and top surface.

Height: We measured flowering stems to 9 cm tall.

Habitat: Dry benchland and clay hills in southern Saskatchewan.

Abundance: Rare, listed as an S3 (as of 2019) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: Could be mistaken for Phlox hoodii, both have white to lilac coloured flowers and bloom at the same time. However, Phlox alyssifolia has bigger flowers - 15 to 20 mm in diameter, where Phlox hoodii has flowers only 8 to 10 mm in diameter. Phlox alyssifolia has leaves oblong linear in profile, not overlapping , without cobwebby hairs; while Phlox hoodii has linear leaves which are somewhat overlapping, with cobwebby hairs.

When and where photographed: Photos taken May 12th, prairie hilltops, Big Muddy, about 150 km south of Regina, and May 31st on steep clay hills in the Big Muddy, about 200 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.