Common Name: Annual Phlox
Native Range: Texas
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Rose-red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Phlox drummondii (commonly annual phlox or Drummond's phlox) is a flowering plant in the genus Phlox of the family Polemoniaceae. Native to Texas, it is also widely distributed in the southeastern United States, especially along public highways. P. drummondii is often used as an ornamental plant. The flowers have a wide range of colours "from white and cream through pinks, lilacs, roses, purples and reds, to almost black".
Phlox drummondii is named after Scottish botanist Thomas Drummond, who sent it and a variety of other plant samples back to Britain following his 1833–1835 expedition to Texas.
It is an annual, growing from seed each year. The branches have sharp, pointed, lengthy, ciliated leaves with rounded flowers. The flowers are single or double, with lightly scented, flat, star-shaped petals. The flowers mature to 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter. It tolerates cold weather well, but requires plentiful watering and dislikes drought, wind and heat.
Best grown in loose, acidic, humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Part afternoon shade is appreciated in hot summer climates. Prefers even moisture. Tolerates some soil dryness. Purchase plants in spring if available. Plants may be grown from seed started indoors about 6-8 weeks prior to the last spring frost date. Space plants 8” apart. Pinch main stems of young plants to stimulate branching. Deadhead spent flowers promptly to the extent practicable to extend bloom. Propagate by seed. Plants will easily reseed in the garden in optimum conditions.
Phlox drummondii is an annual phlox that is native to grasslands and open woods in central and eastern Texas. It typically grows to 6-9” (less frequently to 15”) tall. It has escaped gardens and naturalized along roads, fields and waste areas in many parts of the U. S., particularly in the southeastern states. Fragrant, trumpet-shaped, five-lobed, rose-red flowers with short narrow tubes appear in clusters at the stem ends in a spring bloom typically extending from April/May to early July. Plants decline significantly as the heat of summer sets in, but may revive in fall. In cool summer climates, plants will continue to bloom throughout summer. Cultivars, often in compact sizes and sometimes with double flowers, extend the range of flower colors to include varying shades of pink, red, lavender, purple, buff and white. Flowers often have a different colored eye. Oblong to lance-shaped, stem-clasping, leaves (to 3” long) are bright green, with upper leaves alternate and lower leaves opposite. Genus name comes from the Greek word meaning flame in reference to the bright flowers. Specific epithet honors Thomas Drummond (1790-1835) who collected plants in Texas and sent seeds from Texas to England.
No serious insect or disease problem. Plants are susceptible to powdery mildew, particularly in humid conditions. Crown rot may occur in poorly drained soils. Spider mites can also be a problem.
Spring annuals that are excellent massed in beds and borders as a ground cover. Also effective as edging along walks and paths. Rock gardens. Containers.