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Phlox stolonifera: Creeping Woodland Phlox
Among all the woodland plants that I have transplanted over the past, the creeping woodland phlox it at the top of my favorites list. The plant has many things going for it. Number one is the drifts of early spring color. I suppose number two would be the ease of growth and reliability. Number three would be they maintain some green all twelve months of the year. And, finally, they have stood up to our summer and early fall droughts.
Taking a walk this time of the year I can see mature drifts of creeping woodland phlox, some spilling over into paths for close up viewing. It would be hard to imagine my garden without these woodland gems. A plus for native plant enthusiasts would be the species Phlox stolonifera,
and then all the possibilities of cultivars. To obtain those drifts seen in nature, garden books, and your garden, a woodland soil that is somewhat loose and a good mulch is essential.
Some of the combinations in my gardens are planned in advance and others simply happen over time. Since creeping woodland phlox has an open growth habit other plants have an easy time finding a home among the drifts of foliage and bloom. This species of phlox plays well with others.
Choosing by Color
The most direct way to choose a creeping woodland phlox is by preferred color. One can begin with the species with is a rich lavender-blue, or select a named cultivar with several options from the color pallet. Four of my favorites are here for your consideration.
Phlox stolonifera Blue Ridge consider a creeping mat about 2 inches in height of deep green. bloom stems rise to about eight inches above the green and then numerous flowers of deep blue open, then fade to lavender-blue.
Phlox stolonifera Bruce's White has very nice clean white blooms with a small yellow eye and is very reliable for a white blooming cultivar. Same deep green drifting foliage as the species. Any plant that blooms in white is a no-brainer in garden design for any other color will make a great companion.
Phlox stolonifera Home Fires has blooms of a stop-the-traffic-pink. Perhaps not everyone's cup of tea in color, but let some Delphinium tricorne in purple, along with the white blooming form, and you have a winning color combination that is certainly striking.
Phlox stolonifera Sherwood Purple is more of a blue-purple than an the stronger royal purple. Same yellow eye. This is the most assertive of all the creeping woodland phlox and quickly forms a large drift in good soil with a mulch to send runners under.