Longleaf Phlox

Scientific Name:

Phlox longifolia

Type:

Herbaceous Plant

Habitat:

Sagebrush desert to ponderosa pine forest openings, from low to middle elevations in the mountains

Range:

Widely distributed east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains

Status:

Secure (NatureServe)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

This little plant is usually not taller than 6 inches. The narrow leaves grow opposite each other on the stem and they can be up to 3 inches long. Their pink or white, sweetly scented flowers occur in loose clusters. The flowers have five petals. Longleaf phlox bloom from April to June.

Fast Facts:

  • The Paiute people used decoctions made from the root in a variety of ways, it was used as an eye wash, to treat stomach aches in children and to treat venereal disease.

  • The Shoshone and Washoe people made an eye wash from longleaf phlox roots.

  • Here in the Truckee Meadows, longleaf phlox can be found at Ballardini Ranch Trail and Lower Thomas Creek Trail, among others.

  • Some botanists consider P. longifolia and P. stansburyi to be the same plant. The difference is that P. longifolia often grows up through surrounding shrubs and does not form a cushion or mat as does P. stansburyi. Whether these morphological differences are due to effects of the environment or are genetic, apparently has yet to be determined.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Emma Wynn (research, content, and photos)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

May 12, 2021, 9:21:33 PM