Sand Phlox, Cleft Phlox

Phlox bifida Beck

The deeply cleft, pale-blue flowers of sand phlox offer a good alternative to more common creeping (moss) phlox (P. subulata L.) varieties offered in nurseries, as it seems less likely to winterburn. Variety ‘Betty Blake’, with lavender-pink flowers, may be more common than the generic species at nurseries. This slow-spreading, but long-blooming, spring plant totally obscures its wiry foliage with blossoms when in bloom. Theoretically it can reseed, although seedlings are rare (and welcome) in the garden.

Height: 4-6”
Width: 16” or wider
Water needs: low to moderate
Exposure: full sun to light shade
Availability in nurseries: uncommon
Native range: midwestern U.S.
Plant family: Polemoniaceae



Photo by Jennifer Thompson