Phlox caespitosa
clumped phlox, clustered phlox, stiff phlox, tufted phlox
Flowers with 5 petal lobes are attached to the tips of the loosely erect branches of tufted phlox. The bases of the lobes come together to form a fused tube.
Leaves and calyx (sepals) showing glandular hairs. Leaves are in the foreground, with the calyx in the center-background. Note the fused, whitish-pink corolla tube arising from the calyx.
Note how just prior to flowering the petals have a twisted appearance, looking like a soft ice-cream cone. This feature is found in many Phlox species and other members of this family.
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: East of the Cascades, British Columbia to California, east to Colorado

Habitat: Primarily in and near Ponderosa pine forest.

Flowers: April - June

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Somewhat erect, somewhat shrubby, taprooted perennial growing to 5-15 cm. in height. Plants are often glandular hairy on their upper portions.


Opposite, firm, narrowly linear, sharp-pointed (pungent), 5-13 mm. long by 0.5 mm. wide. Often with barely visible, short, erect hairs (cilia) along margins towards base of leaves.


Pinkish-white, mostly solitary at the end of the branches, and often borne on short stalks (pedicels). Sometimes attached directly to branch (sessile). Flowers composed of a fused tube 8-14 mm. long, and 5 lobes that are 7-10 mm. long.



Identification Notes:

Calyx lobes thickened, and the membrane between the lobes flat; corolla tube is less than twice as long as the calyx.

Accepted Name:
Phlox caespitosa Nutt.
Publication: J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 7(1): 41, pl. 6, f. 1. 1834.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Phlox caespitosa Nutt. ssp. eucaespitosa Brand
Phlox diffusa Benth. ssp. scleranthifolia (Rydb.) Wherry
Phlox douglasii Hook.
Phlox douglasii Hook. ssp. eudouglasii Brand
Phlox douglasii Hook. ssp. rigida (Benth.) Wherry
Phlox rigida Benth.
Phlox scleranthifolia Rydb.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Phlox caespitosa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Phlox caespitosa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Phlox caespitosa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Phlox caespitosa photos.

USDA Plants: Phlox caespitosa information.

24 photographs:
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