Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Smooth Phlox (Phlox glaberrima)
- Family: Phlox (Polemoniaceae)
- Flowering: May-June.
- Field Marks: All species of Phlox have opposite, toothless leaves on the stem. In addition, this is the only Phlox with 12 or more pairs of narrow, pointed leaves on a smooth stem and sepals no more than 1/3 inch long. The flowers are bright reddish purple.
- Habitat: Low wet areas in prairies, low areas in swampy woods, wet roadside ditches, on stream banks, depressions in wet meadows.
- Habit: Herbaceous perennial.
- Stems: 1-several, erect, up to 4 feet tall, green, nearly always smooth, bearing 12 or more pairs of leaves.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, toothless, narrowly lanceolate, long-pointed at tip, tapering to base, usually smooth on both surfaces, without conspicuous lateral veins, mostly up to 3 inches long and up to 1/2 inch broad.
- Flowers: Several, in a round-topped panicle.
- Sepals: 5, green, united, up to 1/3 inch long, the lobes about as long as the tube.
- Petals: 5, bright reddish purple, the lobes about 1/2 inch long, the long narrow tube about 1 inch long.
- Stamens: 5, not exserted beyond the tube.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; styles 3.
- Fruits: Rounded capsule shorter than the subtending persistent sepals, containing several narrow, wrinkled seeds.
- Notes: The leaves and stems are sometimes browsed by deer. The seeds have minimal value as wildlife food.
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