Fall Phlox: One of Ohio's "Late Bloomers"

Hey there iNatters! Sorry we missed you on here last week. If you follow our park’s Facebook, though, you’ll notice we featured goldenrods in our Wildflower Wednesday post. Here’s a link to it in case you wanted to check it out: https://www.facebook.com/CuyahogaValleyNationalPark/posts/3631310810291175

This week, we’re featuring fall phlox (Phlox paniculata) (also called garden phlox and summer phlox in other regions). Most Ohio phloxes bloom in the spring and summer, but Phlox paniculata is one of our late bloomers. These flowers are out for about a month and a half anywhere between mid-summer and mid-fall. They prefer loamy and fertile soil in partial sun conditions. The best places to find them are on the borders of forest habitats, along trail edges, and even along river edges.

Even though they bloom a little late, the fall phlox still displays that tell-tale phlox-flower shape: a tubular corolla that terminates in five symmetrical petals. These magenta, lavender, or white flowers occur at the ends of plant stems in rounded panicles (or, loose bunches of flowers). The plant’s stem is usually green and hairless with oppositely attached leaves. The leaves are ovate oblong with smooth, sometimes ciliate (or hairy) leaf margins. Below are some photos of fall phlox to help you identify them next time you see some in CVNP!

Photo credits: Lavender fall phlox by Arthur Haines, White and magenta fall phlox (photos 2 and 3) by John Lynch, and fall phlox leaf by Arthur Haines.

Want to learn a little more? Check out New England's Native Plant Trust webpage on Phlox paniculata here: https://gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/phlox/paniculata/ And check out John Hilty's Illinois Wildflowers page here: https://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/savanna/plants/sm_phlox.htm

Take care, friends and family and happy iNatting!

Posted by mklein1216 mklein1216, October 13, 2020 06:41 PM


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