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

Phlox of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington

The Genus Phlox

Show Phlox: Phlox speciosa.

Show Phlox: Phlox speciosa. Note the notched petal tips, a characteristic of this phlox. The Dalles Mt. Road.........April 9, 2006.

Prickly-leaved Phlox: Phlox aculeata - Collected 4 miles west of Arlington, OR along I-84.

Snake River Phlox: Phlox colubrina - Collected near Biggs, Oregon.

Spreading Phlox: Phlox diffusa (Synonyms: Phlox diffusa ssp. diffusa, Phlox diffusa ssp. longistylis, Phlox diffusa var. longistylis) - Prostrate (to 6 in. tall) wildflower, forming mats or clumps to several feet across. Flowers pink or whitish, tubular (like a trumpet), on short stems with many greenish, awl-shaped or linear leaves. Tips of petals not notched. The only phlox to form cushions in the west and middle sections of the Gorge.

Midget Phlox, Slender Phlox: Microsteris gracilis (Synonyms: Gilia gracilis, Gilia gracilis var. humilior, Microsteris gracilis ssp. humilis, Microsteris gracilis var. gracilis, Microsteris gracilis var. humilior, Microsteris humilis, Microsteris micrantha, Phlox gracilis ssp. gracilis, Phlox gracilis ssp. humilis, Phlox gracilis var. humilior) - Flowers very small, whitish to pink, with notches in the tips of the 5 petals. Flowers often have a yellow throat. Leaves opposite, long and thin. Plant is spindly in appearance, and up to eight inches high. The only annual of the group.

Hood's Phlox, Woolly Phlox: Phlox hoodii var. canescens (Synonyms: Phlox canescens, Phlox hoodii ssp. canescens, Phlox lanata): Prostrate, low cushion plant with tiny spine-tipped leaves and pink to white flowers. The only phlox at the east end of the Gorge to form low cushions.

Long-leaf Phlox: Phlox longifolia (Synonyms: Phlox longifolia ssp. calva , Phlox longifolia ssp. cortezana, Phlox longifolia ssp. humilis, Phlox longifolia ssp. linearifolia, Phlox longifolia ssp. longifolia, Phlox longifolia ssp. typica, Phlox longifolia var. linearifolia, Phlox longifolia var. longifolia, Phlox longifolia var. peberula, Phlox viridis, Phlox viridis ssp. longipes) - Herbaceous wildflower to 16 inches tall. Flowers pink or white, to one inch across. Petals not notched. Plants tend to form small open clusters of several stems up to 50 cm high.

Moss Phlox: Phlox muscoides (Synonym: Phlox bryoides) - Collected in sandy soils above WA SR14 west of Rock Creek.

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) - Herbaceous wildflower to 16 inches tall. Large, one inch flowers, pink, or sometimes whitish, with a distinctive u- or v-shaped notch at the tip of each petal. Leaves linear. This phlox forms small open clusters of stems up to 50 cm high.

Sticky Phlox: Phlox viscida - Collected at LePage Park at the mouth of the John DayRiver.

Show Phlox: Phlox speciosa.

The photo above shows a close-up of the calyx and corolla of showy phlox (Phlox speciosa) as seen atop the Columbia Hills in the eastern Columbia River Gorge.

Paul Slichter E-mail