E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Phlox diffusa Benth.
Spreading Phlox
Polemoniaceae (Phlox family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Irmgard & Gerald Carter  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #7790)

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Distribution of Phlox diffusa
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Phlox diffusa ssp. longistylis

Species Information

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Tufted perennial herb from a taproot; stems often mat-forming, 5-10 cm tall.
Opposite, linear, fused at the base in pairs, hairless except for the cobwebby-fringed margins towards the base, 5-20 mm long, 1-2 mm wide.
Inflorescence of single stalkless flowers at the ends of the stems; corollas pink to lavender or whitish, the tube 9-17 mm long, spreading flat into five wide lobes 5-9 mm long; calyces long woolly-hairy or cobwebby-hairy, the 5 teeth narrow, thickened.
Capsules, ellipsoid, 3-chambered; seeds usually 1 per chamber.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry rocky slopes, rock outcrops and open forests from the lowland to alpine zones; common in SW BC; S to N OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Phlox diffusa

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) 770 1448 2250
Slope Gradient (%) 0 31 140
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 179 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(9), CMA(2), ESSF(76), IDF(31), IMA(2), MH(17), MS(6), PP(44)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References