phlox, 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 Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Solanales.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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