Phlox divaricata is a perennial herb 30-50 cm tall, base of stem often prostrate (decumbent), stems clumped but also sparingly colonial from basal stolons; roots associated with VA mycorrhizas (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988).
Leaves opposite, 2-5 cm long, 0.5-1.2 cm wide, narrowly egg-shaped to oblong, tip barely pointed or blunt.
Flowers usually pale blue-purple, sometimes red or white, radially symmetrical, tubular, 5-parted, petal lobes flaring, 2-3 cm wide notched at tip spreading abruptly at top of tube (salverform), tube 1-2 cm long; calyx tubular, 5-lobed; stamens 5, ovary superior, one style, about as long as ovary, stigmas 3 about as long as style; inflorescence branched, glandular hairy, compact.
Fruit a dry capsule 3-parted, splitting open to release 3seeds.
Wetland status: FACU.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Origin: Native north and west of NYC.
Habitat: Rich woods, soil pH 5.5-7.2, moderately tolerant of shade, intolerant of anaerobic soils, salt.
Notes: Native populations mostly west of coastal plain. Ours probably escaped from cultivation.