Wild blue phlox is in bloom and it is April again. That is the remarkable thing about springtime, that jig-saw puzzle intricately put together from all the widely scattered pieces of itself. Take the dull face of late winter and add a bit of green that looks like new grass, and add a plump robin running importantly across it, and there is the beginning of the puzzle called spring.

Wild Blue Phlox (Sweet William).

Phlox divaricata L.

April - May Woods.

The pieces of the Illinois springtime are scattered widely from Illinois to the Argentine, from the tops of the trees and the open sky to the lowest grasp of root in the earth. Somehow, piece by piece, from far places or from close at hand, they come back or they spring from the ground, or they grow, and magically they all fit together. Each bird which returns from the south adds one more bit to the picture; each wild flower has its place. And if the spring beauties forgot to bloom, or if a blight hit all the wild blue phlox, how empty would be the April woods, how imperfect the pattern of the spring.

The wild blue phlox or sweet william is spread lavishly through all the oak woods of Illinois, in uplands and in bottomlands, along country roads where once there were woods, and adapts itself agreeably to use in gardens where it usually blooms when the pink tulips and late daffodils are at their best.

Wild blue phlox is a tubular flower with five spreading, oblong petals which vary from pink-lavender through many shades of pale lavender and blue-violet, to pure white. The flowers appear in clusters at the tips of the slender stems, upon which are arranged several pairs of clasping, dull green leaves. The basal leaves of the blue phlox usually remain green and above ground throughout the year.