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Showy Phlox · Phlox speciosa

Description: This beautiful wildflower common east of the Cascades has a woody base, and reaches 6 to 16 inches in height. Leaves are opposite, long and narrow, 2 3/4 inches long and 3/8 inch wide. Flowers, from April to June, are pink to white, with petal lobes notched at the tip, at the ends of stems. Showy phlox grows on dry slopes which support sagebrush and ponderosa pine, from interior British Columbia to California and east to Montana. It can be grown in westside gardens, but requires excellent drainage, as it dislikes soggy winter conditions and prefers a drying-off period in the summer. A superb rock garden plant.

Lewis and Clark collected a specimen of showy phlox on May 7, 1806 in present-day Idaho; two portions of this specimen still exist.