Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Linanthus pungens
prickly phlox

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Baja California, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Dry, open, sandy or rocky places, from sagebrush desert and plains to moderate elevations in the drier mountains.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Branched shrub 1-6 dm. tall, sweetly aromatic, usually glabrous and occasionally glandular.


Leaves numerous and crowded, alternate, or the lower opposite, 5-12 mm. long, divided palmately into 3-7 linear, rigid, spinulose-tipped segments


Flowers solitary in the leaf axils; calyx 7-10 mm. long, with translucent intervals between the 5 segments, which terminate in a spinulose tip; corolla white to yellowish, with a hint of lavender on the outside, 1.5-2.5 mm. long, the slender lobes 6-10 mm. long, opening at night; anthers 5, small, the filaments equally inserted above the middle of the corolla tube; style 3-parted; ovary superior.


Capsule usually with 3, several-seeded carpels.

Accepted Name:
Linanthus pungens (Torr.) J.M. Porter & L.A. Johnson
Publication: Aliso 19(1): 82. 2000.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Gilia hallii Parish
Gilia pungens (Torr.) Benth.
Gilia pungens (Torr.) Benth. var. hookeri (Douglas ex Hook.) A. Gray
Leptodactylon hazeliae M. Peck
Leptodactylon lilacinum Greene ex Brand
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Nutt. [HC, IMF4]
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Nutt. ssp. eupungens (Brand) Wherry
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Nutt. ssp. hallii (Parish) H. Mason
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Nutt. ssp. hazeliae (M. Peck) Meinke
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Nutt. ssp. hookeri (Benth.) Wherry
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Nutt. ssp. pulchriflorum (Brand) H. Mason
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Nutt. ssp. squarrosum (A. Gray) Tidestr.
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Nutt. var. hallii (Parish) Jeps.
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Nutt. var. hookeri (Benth.) Jeps.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Linanthus pungens in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Linanthus pungens checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Linanthus pungens atlas page.

CalPhotos: Linanthus pungens photos.

USDA Plants: Linanthus pungens information.

40 photographs:
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