Phlox subulata

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Moss phlox
Phlox subulata - Moss Phlox.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Polemoniaceae
Genus: Phlox
P. subulata
Binomial name
Phlox subulata
above: cherry tree; below: Phlox subulata in an ornamental planting at Yachounomori Garden in Annaka, Gunma

Phlox subulata[1] (creeping phlox, moss phlox,[2] moss pink, or mountain phlox) is a species of flowering plant in the family Polemoniaceae, native to eastern and central USA, and widely cultivated. Growing to about 13 cm (5 in) high at most and covering a 50 cm (20 in) wide area, it is an evergreen perennial forming mats or cushions of hairy, linear leaves. The small, five-petaled flowers bloom in rose, mauve, blue, white, or pink in late spring to early summer.[3]

The Latin specific epithet subulata means awl- or needle-shaped.[4]

The odor given off by the plants is mistaken for that of marijuana.[5]


  • Requires full sun and well-drained soil.
  • Hardiness zones: USDA zone 3 to 9

The cultivar 'McDaniel's Cushion' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[8][9]

Native American ethnobotany[edit]

The Mahuna use the plant internally for rheumatism. [10]


  1. ^ "Phlox subulata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  2. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  4. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
  5. ^ "Police sorry for drug raid mix-up". BBC News. BBC. 6 December 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  6. ^ Phlox subulata at NC State University
  7. ^ Phloxsubulata at Ohio State University
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Phlox subulata 'McDaniel's Cushion'". Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  9. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 78. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  10. ^ Romero, John Bruno, 1954, The Botanical Lore of the California Indians, New York. Vantage Press, Inc., page 59

Media related to Phlox subulata at Wikimedia Commons