Downy Phlox

Downy Phlox Plant Information

Downy Phlox grows in the following 33 states:

Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

Phlox pilosa (downy phlox or prairie phlox) is an herbaceous perennial in the family Polemoniaceae. It is native to North America.

Downy phlox grows 6-24in (15-61cm) high. The stems are upright and sometimes branched near the top. Leaves, stems, and sepals are covered with hairs and the plant is sticky to the touch. Leaves are long and narrow and have pointed tips; they can be up to 3in (8cm) long and 18-12in (3-13mm) wide. The flowers grow in rounded clusters up to 3in (8cm) at the top of stems. The flower stems have opposite leaves. Each flower has five lobes (petals) that are pale pink, lavender, or purple, and is 12-34in (13-19mm) across.
The flowers produce pollen on anthers near the end of the corolla tube, and nectar at the bottom of the corolla. Only butterflies, moths, skippers, and very long-tongued bees (the largest bumblebees) have long enough tongues to reach the nectar. Shorter-tongued bees and flower flies visit to feed on or gather pollen.
The flowers are self-incompatible. Unless they are cross-pollinated, they will not produce any seed. Butterflies, skippers, and moths are the most effective pollinators. As they insert their proboscis into the corolla tube, it touches the anthers and picks up pollen. When they roll up their proboscis and move to the next flower, some pollen remains and is transferred to the stigma as they insert their proboscis into the next flower.
"Phlox pilosa". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved June 10, 2007.

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