[Phlox: The Genus Phlox Found East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]

Showy Phlox

Phlox speciosa

Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida

Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida)

The photo above shows showy phlox as seen from slopes above the east bank of the Columbia River, north of Vantage, WA.........March 29, 2007. Note the notched petals.

Characteristics:

Showy phlox is pretty perennial phlox with a shrubby base, with multiple stems which may rise from 15 to 40 cm high. The herbage is glandular to glandular-hairy above. The leaves are linear to broadly lanceolate, and to 7 cm long and 1 cm wide. The leaves are opposite on the stems, and are widely spaced.

The inflorescence is a loose cyme. Individual corollas are pink to white, usually with notched petal tips. The tube is 10 to 15 mm long, with the lobes an equal length. The calyx is about equal in length to the tube. The membranes between the calyx ribs are flat to slightly keeled. The style is very short (0.5-2 mm long) and is divided near the base into 3 linear stigmas which are longer than the style.


Habitat:

Showy phlox is a wildflower of sagebrush and ponderosa pine habitats.


Range:

Showy phlox is found from the Okanogan valley of southern British Columbia, south to the Oregon side of the Columbia River. It is also found in southwestern Oregon and southward through the Sierra Nevada Mts into California. Eastward, its distribution extends to northern Idaho and western Montana.


Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida) - Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida)

Close-ups of the inflorescence of white-flowered forms of showy phlox as seen high on east-facing slopes of Burch Mt., several miles north of Wenatchee, WA.......June 6, 2009.

Corolla of Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida) - Glandular calyx of Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida)

Close-up views of the notched corolla lobes and glandular calyx of showy phlox as seen on Wedge Mt., Wenatchee National Forest..........June 5, 2009. Note that the membranes between each calyx lobe are flat and not keeled outwards like the narrow bottom of a sailboat. The keeled membrane between calyx lobes is a similar characteristic of the similar longleaf phlox (Phlox longifolia).

Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida) - Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida)

Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida) - Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida)

Showy phlox as seen at a small borrow pit along Road 35 about one-half mile uphill from the southern forest boundary on Table Mountain, Wenatchee National Forest.........June 4, 2013.

Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida)

Showy phlox as seen at Brooks Memorial State Park near Satus Park, Washington...........May 19, 2014.

Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida) - Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida)

Showy phlox as observed along Dipping Vat Road on DNR lands between the Wenas and Oak Creek Wildlife Area, Yakima County, WA......May 24, 2019.

Glandular calyx of Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida) - Position of the stamens of Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida) - Flower of Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa (Synonyms: Phlox speciosa ssp. lanceolata, Phlox speciosa ssp. lignosa, Phlox speciosa ssp. nitida, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, Phlox speciosa ssp. speciosa, Phlox speciosa var. nitida)

The 3 photos above show Showy Phlox from the Columbia Hills in the eastern Columbia River Gorge.

Paul Slichter