Thursday, August 01, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday on Thursday

A couple of months ago I showed you 'Dames Rocket', which I had always thought was some type of phlox. But is wasn't   Dames Rocket is in the mustard family and has four petals.  The flower for today has five petals.  So this is phlox, 'Smooth Phlox' - Phlox glaberrima to be precise.    It has been growing along the side of highways, in parks and waste spaces for a few weeks now.  I found some growing at Wasaga Beach when we were there last Sunday.  Isn't it pretty?  I love this photo!

Smooth Phlox is an herbaceous perennial in the Polemoniaceae family.  It seems to like a moist soil, but in this case these plants were growing on top of the sand dunes of Georgian Bay.  I guess they are doing so well because we have had a very wet year so far.

Smooth Phlox has smooth stems,without streaks or spots.  The leaves are lance-shaped and grow opposite each other on the stem.  The flowers are borne on a single stem, which often falls over from the weight of the flowers.  This plant attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.   I am not sure if it has any medicinal uses.  I googled it and could not find anything.  Perhaps this plant is just on this earth to make us happy.

A closely related variety is Garden Phlox, Phlox paniculata.  I have this plant growing in several places in my garden.  It comes in several colours.  This one is a lilac colour.

I also have varieties that come in white and light pink.  It is flowering at the moment and brings a lot of colour to my garden.  Here is a white variety.

Just a last shot of my garden as it looks at the moment.  


Barb said...

Love the flowers

Monica said...

Your garden looks beautiful, Hetty!

Exuberant Color said...

Smooth Phlox brings back a memory from childhood. I know it was growing wild somewhere on the farm.