Linanthus pungens (Torr.) J.M. Porter & L.A. Johnson
prickly phlox
Polemoniaceae (Phlox family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Gordon Neish     (Photo ID #24680)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Linanthus pungens
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Shrub from a taproot; stems decumbent to more or less erect, branched, leafy, often sweetly aromatic, minutely hairy or glandular-hairy to hairless, 10-60 cm tall.
Alternate or lower leaves opposite, numerous, 5-12 mm long, with bundles of smaller leaves in their axils, deeply palmately cleft into 3 to 7 rigid, linear, spine-tipped segments, the middle segment the longest; dead leaves remain through 1 or more seasons.
Inflorescences terminal clusters of unstalked, sweet-scented flowers solitary in leaf axils; corollas dull white to yellowish with lavender shading on the outer surface, 12-25 mm long, the tube funnel-shaped, flaring to 5 egg-shaped lobes 6-11 mm long; calyces 7-10 mm long, the 5 lobes unequal, spine-tipped; flowers opening in the evening, during the day loosely crumpled-closed.
Capsules, 3-5 mm long, 3-chambered; seeds several (5 to 10) per chamber.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Linanthus pungens

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
566 335 1300
Slope Gradient (%)
24 0 65

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

211 70 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BG(21), IDF(3), PP(7)

Habitat and Range

Dry, open, rocky or sandy slopes and shrublands in the steppe zone; locally frequent in extreme SC BC; S to NE, MT, NM and MX.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Gilia hallii Parish
Gilia pungens (Torr.) Benth.
Gilia pungens var. hookeri (Douglas ex Hook.) A. Gray
Leptodactylon hazeliae M. Peck
Leptodactylon lilacinum Greene ex Brank
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Torr. ex Nutt.
Leptodactylon pungens (Torr.) Torr. ex Nutt.
Leptodactylon pungens subsp. brevifolium (Rydb.) Wherry
Leptodactylon pungens subsp. eupungens (Brand) Wherry
Leptodactylon pungens subsp. hallii (Parish) H. Mason
Leptodactylon pungens subsp. hazeliae (M. Peck) R.J. Meinke
Leptodactylon pungens subsp. hookeri (Douglas ex Hook.) Wherry
Leptodactylon pungens subsp. pulchriflorum (Brand) H. Mason
Leptodactylon pungens subsp. squarrosum (A. Gray) Tidestr.
Leptodactylon pungens var. hallii (Parish) Jeps.
Leptodactylon pungens var. hookeri (Douglas ex Hook.) Jeps.