[The Phlox of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Carpet Phlox, Hood's Phlox, Spiny Phlox, Woolly Phlox

Phlox hoodii var. canescens

Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. lanata, Phlox lanata

Hood's Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii var. canescens (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox lanata)

The photo above shows a cushion of Hood's phlox as seen along the Dalles Mt. Road...................April 24, 2006.

Stamens of Hood's Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii var. canescens (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox lanata)Photo at right of Phlox hoodii from the Dalles Mt, Columbia River Gorge.........4/22/2001. Note the stamens attached at varying levels of the tube.
Characteristics:

Hood's Phlox is a pretty, compact, mat or low cushion forming wildflower. The leaves are firm and pungent, and are narrowly linear. Most leaves range from 4 to 10 mm long and about 0.5 to 1 mm wide. The leaves of Hood's phlox tend to be stiffer and generally shorter than those of spreading phlox (Phlox diffusa).

The beautiful flowers are solitary, sessile, and at the tips of the stems. The corolla is white, pink, or a light blue. The tube ranges in length from 4 to 10 mm long, with the lobes being 4 to 7 mm long. The membranes between the ribs of the calyx tube are flat and often obscured by the hairs there. The style is 2-5 mm long. Four of the anthers are near the mouth of the tube, while the fifth is below the others. It is positioned above the tip of the style.


Similar Species:

Spreading Phlox: Phlox diffusa - A low phlox that forms compact to spreadingcushions. The leaves tend to be wider and blunter, and feel generally fairly soft to the touch ("less ouchy" when you kneel on them or put your hand on them!). Generally found in the western and middle Columbia River Gorge to the west of the Little White Salmon River.


Habitat:

Hood's Phlox is a wildflower of dry open places. It is commonly found with sagebrush. It is found from the hills of the lowlands to moderate elevations in the mountains.


Range:

Hood's Phlox is a widespread phlox. It is found from Alaska south through the Yukon, and along the east side of the Rockies into Alberta and Saskatchewan to northern Colorado and western Nebraska. It passes westward of the Rockies through Wyoming to southern Idaho, northern Utah, and as far west as the eastern base of the Cascade Range, into central Washington and south through central Oregon to northeastern California.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 2100'-3000' along the crest of the Columbia Hills north of the Dallesport, WA.


Calyx and corolla of Hood's Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii var. canescens (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox lanata)

Very early blooming Hood's phlox as seen high in the Columbia Hills (next to a snow drift).......................February 4, 2009.


Hood's Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii var. canescens (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox lanata)

Very early blooming Hood's phlox as seen high in the Columbia Hills (next to a snow drift).......................February 4, 2009.

Carpet Phlox, Hood's Phlox, Spiny Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. lanata, Phlox lanata) - Carpet Phlox, Hood's Phlox, Spiny Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. lanata, Phlox lanata)

Hood's phlox blooming amongst sandberg's bluegrass along the Bickleton Highway at a pass between Bickleton, WA and Mabton, WA..........April 23, 2013.

Calyx and corolla of Hood's Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii var. canescens (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox lanata)

The photo above shows a close-up sideview of the flower of Hood's phlox as seen from the Dalles Mt, Columbia River Gorge................4/22/2001. Note the sharply pointed leaves. You don't want to put your hands or knees on this plant by accident!

Hood's Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii var. canescens (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox lanata)

Note the shrubby nature of a mature Hood's phlox as seen from the Labyrinth, Columbia River Gorge...............April 10, 2010.

Carpet Phlox, Hood's Phlox, Spiny Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. lanata, Phlox lanata)

Hood's phlox blooming high in the Columbia Hills State Park...........April 12, 2014.

Carpet Phlox, Hood's Phlox, Spiny Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. lanata, Phlox lanata)

An early blooming Hood's phlox from the Columbia Hills Natural Area Preserve..........January 15, 2014. Some of the phlox at this particular location reliably send up a few blooms in late January into February, but most plants here bloom in April or May.

Paul Slichter