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
Close-up of the calyx of long-leaf phlox as seen along Washington Highway 14 above the Avery sand pit in the eastern Columbia River Gorge..................May 10, 2009. Note the prominent, keeled membranes between the individual calyx lobes, a diagnostic feature for this species in this region.
Long-leaved phlox is a beautiful erect phlox arising from a woody base to a height of 40 cm on weak stems. It is often found winding its way through the branches and foliage of small shrubs (especially sagebrush or rabbitbrush). It frequently is somewhat hairy or glandular, especially within the inflorescence, but it can be glabrous on its lower half too. The leaves are linear in shape, ranging in length from 15 to 80 mm long and 1 to 3 mm wide. The leaves are widely spaced along the stems, and are opposite each other.
The inflorescence is a loose cyme, with several 5-petaled, sweet-scented flowers at the apex of the stem. The corolla is typically white or pink, with the tube being about 10 to 18 mm in length. The lobes of the petals are spreading, about 7 to 15 mm long, and obovate in shape. The tips of the corolla lobes are not noticeably notched. The calyx is 1/2 to about as long as the tube. The membranes between the 5 prominent ribs on the calyx are prominently keeled or bulged outwards near the base. The style is elongated and ranges from 6-15 mm long. The 5 anthers are arranged with 2 near the mouth of the tube, 2 directly below, and a 5th further below near mid-tube (See photo below.).
Long-leaf phlox is an attractive perennial wildflower for the rockery, dry grassland or low shrubland garden to the east of the Cascades. It occasionally may be obtained from several Pacific Northwest nurseries but does not do well in the excessive moisture found to the west of the CAscades.
Showy Phlox: Phlox speciosa - Corolla lobes noticeably notched. Style very short, measuring 0.5-2 mm long. Membranes between calyx lobes flat or only slightly keeled.
Long-leaved phlox is found from dry open rocky or sandy places in the lowlands to moderate elevation in the mountains.
Long-leaved phlox is found from southern British Columbia south along the eastern slopes of the Cascades to southern California, and eastward to the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-2200' from near The Dalles, OR. east to the eastern end of the gorge.