Also known as thick-leaf phlox, this herbaceous perennial is native to southeastern US from North Carolina and Kentucky, south to Florida and Mississippi where it grows in woodland edges and openings. It is a member of the Polemoniaceae that also includes Jacob’s ladder. Plants grow 24-30″ tall and have slender stems that are sometimes streaked with red and carry 5-12 pairs of bright green leaves that are oval to lance-shaped and 1.5 to 4″ long. From summer to fall loose cylindrical terminal clusters of white to pink or lavender flowers appear. The flowers are .5 to .75″ and have 4-5 petals. Carolina phlox is a handsome garden plant and attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. It is one of the parents of several cultivars of phlox. The genus name, Phlox, is the Greek word meaning a flame and is sometimes applied to plants with flame colored flowers. The specific epithet, carolina, refers to the natural habitat of the plant.
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Bloom: Clusters of white to pink or lavender 4-5 petaled flowers in summer
Size: 24-30″ H x 18″ W
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Soil: Fertile, consistently moist, well-drained, acidic
Hardiness: Zones 3-8
Care: Remove any plants that develop powdery mildew.
Pests and Diseases: Powdery mildew (but more resistant than some other phlox), leaf spot and leaf blight
Propagation: Seed, division, cuttings
Companion Plants: Daylilies, bee balm, balloonflower