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Wild Blue Phlox

Wild Blue Phlox

Wild Blue Phlox

These tiny blue flowers are common in meadows and are an important indicator of a healthy ecosystem. It has become difficult to find the real ones in many places where they were once vibrant. Several ecological experts claim that the plants are dying out because of anthropogenic destruction.This is a Phlox for shade or partial shade and medium to drier soils. Wild Blue Phlox is rhizomatous and will spread slowly but steadily. It is also commonly referred to as Blue Phlox, Woodland Phlox, or Louisiana Phlox. Some may call it Wild Sweet William, but that is the common name we give to Phlox maculata. The flowers, atop sticky stems, are slightly fragrant and range in color from pale blue to lavender to violet. Deer seem to have little interest in Phlox, but rabbits especially like Wild Blue.

Phlox

The seeds you received are dormant. You will need to have patience while Mother Nature unlocks that dormancy mechanism naturally throughout the next winter, or you can unlock the dormancy mechanism yourself and “artificially stratify” the seed to mimic winter, and then plant. Wild Phlox needs 60 days of artificial stratification, so that would mean you could sow your seed early July – which honestly isn’t great timing for your seeds to sprout during the hottest and driest time of the summer. You might just want to plant outdoors now, and anticipate germination in spring 2022. For more on germination codes and instructions, check out this blog.This beautiful species is most common in midwestern woods and fields. It is sometimes known as "Wild Sweet William," a name also given to P. maculata. The mature plants in the eastern part of the range have notched petals; those in the western do not.

The basal runners of the lovely Creeping Phlox (P. stolonifera) form large patches; it has fewer stem leaves and fewer flowers in its clusters; it occurs from Pennsylvania and Ohio south to northern Georgia.The blooms are followed by rounded green fruits that eventually dry to seed capsules which split open to release the small black seeds. Blue Phlox does self-sow, but not aggressively, and the seedlings are easily transplanted. The flowering stems will die-back after the plant has produced seed, leaving a mound foliage to produce and store energy for the following year. The expired foliage tends to blend into its surroundings, and special care may be needed to learn to recognize and avoid pulling them.Blue phlox has loose clusters of slightly fragrant, tubular, lilac to rose to blue flowers (to 1.5" wide) with five, flat, wedge-shaped, notched, petal-like lobes that appear at the stem tips in spring. Its stamens are recessed. Stems are both hairy and sticky. The five petals are various shades of sky blue to violet. Flowers bloom from April to May. (Source:plants.ces.ncsu.edu)

 

 

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