PHLOX (Nat. Ord. Polemoniaceae) , a genus of about 30 species, mostly perennial hardy plants of great beauty, natives of North America (one occurs in Siberia), with entire, usually opposite, leaves and showy flowers generally in termina clusters. Each flower has a tubular calyx with five lobes, and a salver shaped corolla with a long slender tube and a flat limb. The five stamens are given off from the tube of the corolla at different heights and do not protrude beyond it. The ovary is threecelled with one to two ovules in each cell; it ripens into a threevalved capsule. Many of the species and varieties are tall herbs yielding a wealth of bloom throughout the summer and early autumn. These require a deep, rich, and rather heavy loam, and a cool, moist position to flourish.
The dwarf perennial species and varieties, the " moss pinks " of gardens, are charming plants for the rockery and as edging to beds and borders. They are trailing and tufted in habit, the branches rooting at the nodes. They succeed in poorer soil, and drier situations than the tall kinds. Seed is seldom produced. Propagation is effected by cuttings in July and early August, placed in a cold frame, and by division of the plants, which should be lifted carefully, and cut into rooted portions as required. The tufted kinds decay in patches in winter if the situation is moist and the weather mild and wet.
Phlox Drummondii and its numerous varieties are half-hardy annuals in Britain. It is a small-growing hairy plant, flowering profusely during the summer months. For early flowering it should be sown in heat in March and April and transferred out of doors in June. It succeeds if sown out of doors in April, but the flowering season is later and shorter.
The tall-growing border phloxes are divided into early and late flowering kinds respectively, the former derived mainly from P. glaberrima and P. sujfruticosa, and the latter from P. maculata and P. paniculata. The salver-shaped flowers with cylindrical tubes range from pure white to almost bright scarlet in colour, passing through shades of pink, purple, magenta lilac, mauve and salmon. New varieties are obtained by the selection of seedlings. Owing to the frequent introduction of new kinds, the reader is referred to the current lists published by growers and nurserymen. The " moss pinks," P. subuloja and its varieties, are all worthy of a place in the alpine garden.
The varieties are relatively few. The following list includes nearly all the best kinds:
P. subulata, pink with dark centre; Aldbproughensis, ros&; annulate, bluish white, ringed with purple; atrolilacina, deep lilac; atropurpurea purple-rose and crimson; Brightness, bright rose with scarlet eye; compacta, clear rose; Fairy, lilac; G. F. Wilson, mauve; grandiflora, pink, crimson blotch; Little Dot, white, blue centre; Nelsoni, pure white; Vivid, rose, carmine centre; all these are about 4 in. nigh. P. divaricata, lavender, height I ft. ; P. ovata, rose, I ft. ; P. reptans, rose, 6 in.; and P. amoena, rose, 9 in., are also charming alpines.
P. Drummondii varieties come true from seed, but are usually sown in mixture.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)