Classification Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheophyta
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Subclass Asteridae
Order Solanales
Family Polemoniaceae
Phlox Phlox
Species Phlox bifida
Cleft phlox

Date: May 12, 2012. Location: Ciha fen preserve (map)

USDA Plant Profile Flora of N. America BONAP

Scientific Name: Phlox bifida (phlox[G] =flame; bifida = 2-parted, a reference to the petal lobes)

Common Name: Cleft phlox, sand phlox

Origin: Native

Notes: In our area, only Phlox bifida has bifurcated petal lobes. The cleavage is approximately one fourth to one half the length of the petal lobe. There are other (non-native) species of Phlox with incised lobes but the incisions are not as deep.

The other native Phlox species in our area are P. divaricata, P. pilosa, and P. maculata.

Additional references: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

Field Marks for Identification:

Flowers: May; Petals are usually light blue but sometimes rose or white; each of the 5 petal lobes of the corolla are split deeply once (sometimes with additional shallow incisions).

Leaves: opposite, linear-lanceolate, young leaves become less hairy with maturity.

Habitat: sandy open places.

Glossaries of botanical terms: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Cleft phlox-1 Cleft phlox-2 Cleft phlox-3 Cleft phlox-4 Cleft phlox-5 Cleft phlox-6 Cleft phlox-7 Cleft phlox-8 Cleft phlox-9 Cleft phlox-10