Phlox hoodii
(Hood's Phlox)

Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solonales
Family: Polemoniaceae
Family Description: Phlox

Key Characteristics:
  • opposite, almost awl-like, linear, 1.5-8 mm long, 1.2-2.5 mm wide, sharp-pointed.
  • Inflorescence
  • a bracteate cyme
  • sweet-scented, purple-pink-white, with a t 10-18 mm long tube and 7-15 mm long, obovate lobes;
  • the stamens are attached in the upper half of the tube, with sometimes exerted anther sacs;
  • style 6-15 mm long has linear stigmas.
  • a 3 compartmented capsule with many seeds attached to axile placentae.

General Description:
A perennial, mat-forming, low-growing shrub with cymose inflorescences of showy flowers which have the family characteristic of a salvariform corolla which may vary from white to purple; the sepals are fused together, but are separated by membranous costae which bulge as keels between them forming an unusual calyx.
Plant pulvinate to cespitose, usually without development of decumbent stems, 2-10 cm high; leaves narrowly to broadly subulate, glabrate to basally tomentose, the larger 3-10 or rarely 12 mm long and 0.5-1 mm wide; inflorescence 1- or rarely 3-flowered, the pedicels short; sepals 4-8 mm long, their costa distinct and junction-membranes flat; corolla-tube 4-10 and petal-blades 3-8 mm long, white to lilac; style 2-6 and stigmas 0.5-1 mm long. Dry rocky or gravelly barrens. C. Wash. to subarctic Can., N. D., W. Neb., northern N. M., and E. Calif.; in the lower vegetation zones of Idaho. Divisible into several entities which have been classed as subspecies, although they intergrade here so extensively that their separation may not be worth-while: canescens (T.&G.) Wherry, with canescent to subtomentose herbage, larger leaves 8-12, sepals 7-9, and corolla-tube 8-10 mm long; genuina Wherry, also pubescent but with the larger leaves 6-8 (rarely 10), sepals 5-7, and corolla-tube 5-8 mm long; glabrata (E. Nels.) Wherry, glabrate with dimensions of parts covering the range of the two preceding, and viscidula Wherry, similar to genuina, but the hairs of the upper herbage finely gland-tipped.

Southern British Columbia south through Washington, to souther California, east to New Mexico and northward through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Idaho.

Dry, open rocky, sagebrush areas from low elevations to sometimes high in the mountains; tends to increase with grazing or other disturbances.

Although it is an extremely attractive plant in the spring, no uses either by Native Americans or modern day herbalists could be documented.

Important State References:
No information available at this time.
Photos and Information written by Dr. Karl E. Holte,© 2002