Saturday, February 2, 2013

Plant Quiz Solved: Creeping Phlox (Phlox stolonifera)

Congrats to Benjamin for correctly identifying this as the creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera)!  The wimpy-looking flower(s) in the upper right corner should have been some help.  If you look at the bottom left part of the photo you can see the reddish stolons reach out to colonize more ground.  This vegetative growth habit is the namesake of this species and what allows it to cover so much area in such short time.  Creeping phlox is Appalachian in range where it grows from Pennsylvania and Ohio south through the mountains to northern Georgia and South Carolina.  It typically grows in rich, mesic woodlands in dappled shade.  This particular population was photographed in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio.

Creeping Phlox - Phlox stolonifera

Time for another plant quiz!  Take a look at the photograph below and comment with your answer.  The plant in question owns the green leaves that dominate the ground cover.  Best of luck and thanks to those that play along!

Do you recognize this plant (dominant ground cover)


  1. Are you trying to fool us with those pink flowers, or do they belong to the leaves? A four-petaled flower suggests a mustard-family plant, but the leaves remind me of carpets of Twinflower in the Adirondacks, but I don't know if Twinflower grows in southern Ohio.

    1. The pink flowers do belong to it but are five-petaled even if the one shows only four. This species is strictly Appalachian and doesn't make it in to your area, Jackie. The leaves do look a lot like twinflower though! That species is extirpated from Ohio, it was hardly here to begin with far in the NE.