Phlox paniculata is a perennial herb to 2 m tall, forming clumps from woody root crowns.
Leaves opposite upper often sub-opposite, almost stalkless, blade 8-15 cm long, 1.5-4.5 cm wide, elliptic, to narrowly oblong, finely hairy below, margins hairy (ciliolate); lateral veins joining to form a vein near the margin of the blade.
Flowers pink-purple to white, showy, tubular, radially symmetrical, fragrant, corolla 1.5-2 cm long, to 2.5 cm across top, tube 1.6-2.2 cm long, lobes 5, 0.7-1.2 cm long and wide (Radford et al. 1968), abruptly spreading (salverform), tips slightly depressed, base very narrow (clawed); calyx 0.6-1 cm long, 5 narrow lobes; stamens 5, one or more slightly longer than corolla tube, ovary superior, 3-parted, stigmas 3, style much longer than ovary or stigmas; inflorescence often large, to 10 cm, of branched clusters, stems hairy; blooms July-Oct.
Fruit a dry capsule 3-parted, surrounded by old calyx, splitting open to release 3 seeds.
Wetland status: FACU.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent.
Origin: Native south and west of NYS.
Habitat: Second growth, moist, circumneutral soil, tolerates part shade, escaped from cultivation in our region.
Notes: Visited by bees, bumblebees, butterflies, hummingbirds (Macior 1968; Dave’s Garden 2007; BBG 2008; Gargiullo personal observation).