Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Phlox paniculata 'Katherine': bare root plant

[Photo: Phlox paniculata 'Katherine' bare root plant.]Phlox paniculata, known in English as "garden phlox", "fall phlox", or "summer phlox", and in French as phlox paniculée, is a perennial native to eastern and central United States. It bears clusters of showy five-petalled flowers in shades of pink, purple, or white. This cultivar will have lavender flowers with white eyes.

Garden phlox looks similar to dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis, julienne des dames). You can distinguish the two by counting petals: phlox has five petals, dame's rocket has four. It's important to be able to distinguish them because dame's rocket is seriously invasive here in southern Ontario according to the Invasive Exotic Species Ranking for Southern Ontario (PDF). Since dame's rocket is considered "a threat to natural areas wherever they occur because they can reproduce by means that allow them to move long distances," I hope that other Toronto gardeners will join me in growing the equally pretty but non-invasive garden phlox instead.

1 comment:

  1. Rosemary, I planted Hesperis before I realized it was such an invasive species. You might be relieved to know that it has gradually run itself down in my garden, and I expect it to soon disappear completely.

    Phlox, unfortunately, isn't always happy with what I have to offer, mostly due to poor air circulation. That's what I get for trying to cram too many plants into too little space. However, I've been tempted to try again by some of the newer, bluer varieties. I think one is called 'Blue Boy.' Please stay tuned.


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