DOWNY PRAIRIE PHLOX
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Phlox pilosa, the downy phlox or prairie phlox, is an herbaceous plant native to eastern North America, where it is found in open areas such as prairies and woodlands.
Downy phlox is a perennial that grows 6–24 in (15–61 cm) high. The stems are upright and sometimes branched near the top. The flowers grow in rounded clusters up to 3 in (8 cm) at the top of stems. Each flower has five lobes (petals) that are pale pink, lavender, or purple, and is 1⁄2–3⁄4 in (13–19 mm) across. Flowers are slightly fragrant.
The flowers are ideal for butterflies, as they produce pollen on anthers near the end of the corolla tube, and nectar at the bottom of the corolla. Only butterflies, moths, skippers, and very long-tongued bees (the largest bumblebees) have long enough tongues to reach the nectar. Shorter-tongued bees and flower flies cannot reach the nectar.
Type: Hardy perennial
Height: 12", 30cm
Location: Sun or part shade
Hardiness zones: 4-7
Seeds per pack: 10
Germination: As with many perennials, these seeds require a period of moist cold to help them grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.
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