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common name for plants of the genus Phlox and for members of the Polemoniaceae, a family of herbs (and some shrubs and vines) found chiefly in the W United States. The family includes many popular wild and garden flowers, especially the genera Phlox, Polemonium (called Jacob's ladder), and Gilia, a plant common in desert and mountain areas. Although most phloxes are perennial, the common garden phloxes are annual hybrids of the Texas species Phlox drummondii. The moss pink (Phlox subulata) is a creeping evergreen plant native to the E United States and often cultivated in rock gardens. A few species of phlox and polemonium are found in E Asia. The phlox family is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Solanales.
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The tall, highgrowing perennial phlox is edible, not the low, creeping 4 inch high (10cm) phlox. Slightly spicy taste. Flower colors range from reddish purple to pink, some white. Great in salads.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of perennial and, less commonly, annual herbs and sometimes subshrubs of the family Polemoniaceae. The erect or climbing stems are only slightly branching. The entire leaves are lanceolate or narrowly ovate; they are opposite except at the upper part of the stems, where they are alternate. In species with procumbent, highly branched stems that form mats, the leaves are linear or subulate; on sterile shoots the leaves are agglomerate. The flowers are in many-flowered terminal inflorescences known as thyrses; less commonly, they are solitary. The corolla has a narrow tube and a wheel-shaped, saucer-shaped, or stellate five-parted lip. The fruit is a three-valved capsule.

There are about 60 species of phlox, distributed in North America. The USSR has one spreading mountain species— P. sibirica. Many species are ornamental. One of the best-known tall-growing perennial species is P. paniculata, which has an enormous number of varieties that differ in height, shape, and size of the inflorescences and size and coloring of the flowers. The most common spreading species include P. subulata and P. setacea, and the best-known annuals include P. drummondii. In floriculture, hybrids developed with other species of Phlox are also used.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


any polemoniaceous plant of the chiefly North American genus Phlox: cultivated for their clusters of white, red, or purple flowers
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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