Polemoniceae (Phlox) Family
Blue Phlox is also known as Wild Blue Phlox and Wild Sweet William.
The plant is an upright perennial with a sprawling root system and a loose cluster of slightly fragrant flowers that sit atop a hairy stem. Its preferred habitat is well-drained deciduous woods and mixed hardwood forests; rarely at roadside. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region, except directly at seashore.
The leaves are opposite on the stem, consisting of one whole part (simple); nearly clasping (no leaf stalk) the stem. The leaf form is linear or widest at the center, or lance-like; no teeth and no lobes.
The flowers are panicle-like (compound clusters arranged along the stem); bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form; five sepals. The corolla is a slender tube that flares at the tip; 5-lobed. blue to lavender, or occasionally pink; 5 stamens. Flowers occur from late March to June.
Fruit is a capsule.
Blue Phlox is most common in the Midwest and may be referred to as Wild Sweet William (a name also given to the southern P. maculata). The mature plant in this area can be quickly recognized as there is a notch in the petal tip. Western varieties do not have that characteristic.