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Phlox caryophylla
(Pagosa phlox)

[taxon report][distribution map][all photos][line drawing]



Family: Polemoniaceae

Scientific Name: Phlox caryophylla Wherry

Synonyms: None

Vernacular Name: Pagosa phlox

R-E-D Code: 1-2-1

Description: Perennial; stems from a woody base, up to 20 cm long, soft-hairy; leaves narrow, not exceeding 3 mm wide and 50 mm long; flowers in loose clusters, bright pink to purple; corolla tube about 15 mm long, the lobes 6-10 mm long, 4-6 mm wide; calyx-lobes edged with flat (not keeled), colorless, transluscent membranes. Flowers May to July.

Similar Species: Phlox caryophylla does not have glandular pubescence and the hyaline membranes between the calyx-lobes are not keeled. Phlox longifolia does have glandular pubescence and the hyaline membranes between the calyx-lobes are keeled.


Distribution: New Mexico, Rio Arriba County; adjacent Colorado, La Plata and Archuleta counties.

Habitat: Open woodlands, slopes, and sagebrush communities, often in deep soils; 2,000-2,300 m (6,500-7,500 ft).

Remarks: The relationship between Phlox caryophylla and P. longifolia needs clarification. Some plants in north-central Rio Arriba County appear to be hybrids.

Conservation Considerations: Phlox carophylla occasionally grows in highway rights-of-way and may be impacted by maintenance operations. Otherwise, it does not appear to be threatened by present prevailing land uses.

Important Literature (*Illustration):

*New Mexico Native Plants Protection Advisory Committee. 1984. A handbook of rare and endemic plants of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Wherry, E. 1944. New phloxes from the Rocky Mountains and neighboring regions. Notulae Naturae of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 146:1-11.

Wherry, E. 1955. The genus Phlox. Morris Arboretum Monographs 3:1-174.

Information Compiled By: Ken Heil, Joey Herring, 1999

Agency Status:
Taxon USFWS State of NM USFS BLM Navajo Nation Natural Heritage NM Global Rank
Phlox caryophyllaSoCSoC...S2G3


Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
©2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council