POLEMONIUM FAMILY - Polemoniaceae: Ground or Moss Pink

Phlox subulata

Flowers--Very numerous, small, deep purplish pink, lavender or rose, varying to white, with a darker eye, growing in simple cymes, or solitary in a Western variety. Calyx with 5 slender teeth; corolla salver-form with 5 spreading lobes; 5 stamens inserted on corolla tube; style 3-lobed. Stems: Rarely exceeding 6 in. in height, tufted like mats, much branched, plentifully set with awl-shaped, evergreen leaves barely 1/2 in. long, growing in tufts at joints of stem.

Preferred Habitat--Rocky ground, hillsides.

Flowering Season--April-June.

Distribution--Southern New York to Florida, westward to Michigan and Kentucky.

A charming little plant, growing in dense evergreen mats with which Nature carpets dry, sandy, and rocky hillsides, is often completely hidden beneath its wealth of flowers. Far beyond its natural range, as well as within it, the Moss Pink glows in gardens, cemeteries, and parks, wherever there are rocks to conceal or sterile wastes to beautify. Very slight encouragement induces it to run wild. There are great rocks in Central Park, New York, worth travelling miles to see in early May, when their stern faces are flushed and smiling with these blossoms.