Parched posies aren’t usually pretty, but…
Say hello to beautiful drought tolerance.
Ever heard of Phlox pilosa? It’s a native wildflower in 36 US states and central Canada, though there are different types that thrive in particular regions. All of them do a smashing job of dealing with drier conditions than any other form in the Phlox family. They like somewhat acidic soil and are found in sandy or stony soil in their natural habitat, as well as dealing with the climate in the north and the sultry summers of the southeast in filtered shade to full sun.
Like all other perennial plants in the species, Prairie Phlox or Downy Phlox (as it is commonly known) blooms in profusion for weeks on end during a particular part of the season. For this one it’s late spring to early summer, depending on your location. This habit has many gardeners more interested in the varieties that have variegated or colored foliage. We all seek getting color from spring through fall, which at times is our greatest downfall, bringing on to cram so many plants into the space we have that its more jungle than organized array.
New Sun Kissed Phlox from Intrinsic Perennials has all the attributes you seek. Flush with fragrant lavender blooms in March, April or May, you’ll no doubt be smitten with it early on. It won’t leave you hanging after the flowering is finished, because then the foliage develops variegated margins. Not only that, the leaves offer a finer texture with their long, narrow lance-like shape.
Playing different foliage shapes and sizes against each other in the garden is best. Its gives good interest during times when not much blooming is going on. One of the biggest mistakes in any planting design that people make is having too many plants of similar texture. It’s like an all white room where everything in it has a high gloss surface. Gets kind of boring quickly. Mixing fine, medium and large leaf plants creates more garden beauty than color can on it’s own. You can’t rely on unusual foliage and flowers to carry your garden from spring through frost.
Hardy in zones 4-9, Phlox pilosa ‘Sun Kissed’ will be as happy with part sun under the Carolina Pines, as it is in central Minnesota. It is a native prairie plant selected for it’s unusual foliage traits by Brent Horvath from Intrinsic Perennials. His focus is always on sensational native perennials, a wise path to follow in our quest to enjoy beauty with less fuss and maintenance. Maturing to about 15″ tall and clumps of 18″ wide, it’s a flowering plant that will fit nicely in just about anyone’s garden.
Being fragrant, Phlox are staples in the butterfly garden, and many people may not know it, but hummingbirds love them too.
Trademark and Nomenclature
Phlox pilosa L. ‘Sun Kissed’