Louisiana Blue Phlox, Woodland Phlox, Wild Sweet William, Wild Blue Phlox

Phlox divaricata

Family: Polemoniaceae (po-le-moh-nee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phlox (floks) (Info)
Species: divaricata (dy-vair-ih-KAY-tuh) (Info)
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From herbaceous stem cuttings

By simple layering

By serpentine layering

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Wetumpka, Alabama

Aurora, Colorado

Gainesville, Florida

Seminole, Florida

Barnesville, Georgia

Monroe, Georgia

Divernon, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Hobart, Indiana

Newburgh, Indiana

Benton, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Taylorsville, Kentucky

Covington, Louisiana

Mandeville, Louisiana

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Natick, Massachusetts

Royal Oak, Michigan

Saginaw, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)

Florence, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Ridgeland, Mississippi

Cole Camp, Missouri

Cross Timbers, Missouri

Elsberry, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Sparks, Nevada

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey

Brooklyn, New York

Lansing, New York

Holly Springs, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Rowland, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Grove City, Ohio

Lebanon, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Toone, Tennessee

Viola, Tennessee

Mc Kinney, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Park City, Utah

Leesburg, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

Laramie, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 19, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Blooms here (Boston Z6a) in May for about 2 weeks with a lovely display of lavender (not true blue) or white flowers.

It can spread and self-sow, but it is not aggressive. It goes mostly dormant in summer and looks ragged then. It will definitely not form a uniform weed-suppressing groundcover.

This is a woodland plant and performs best here in deciduous shade with sun in early spring. Tends to get some powdery mildew, especially in summer---a little sun helps prevent this.

I find all the "blue" (lavender) cultivars almost indistinguishable, except for the much deeper 'Louisiana Purple' (which has a maroon eye).

Native over most of the eastern US.


On Apr 19, 2015, MsMaati from Newburgh, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I am saying Neutral because although it is beautiful in the spring, when it fades you have to cut back the flower stems. Also it will spread easily where you do not want it so make sure it is contained.


On Dec 26, 2013, wakingdream from Allentown, PA wrote:

I bought a small pot of this Phlox at a local flea market 4 years ago. It was unknown to me at the time. I identified it later as a moisture lover and decided to place it near my gutter runoff. The area is sufficiently moist and also shaded. The patch has widened gradually and is quite lovely in summer. I hope to divide it this coming season and try some in another location. I have not noticed any self sown seedlings (yet).


On Jul 17, 2009, mcrousse from Holly Springs, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I got this plant from my mom not knowing what it was. I planted it in full sun 3 years ago and it is still going strong there much to my surprise. In July it looks kinda ratty but the spring bloom is fantastic. However, it will spread. It has overgrown an echinacea I had next to it and I will have to pull some out this fall.


On Dec 21, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I think this plant can be easily moved but it tend to have its own strange habits - it will seed itself in low spots, spread to make a thick patch in one location then after reaching its peak, will suddenly decline - disease or bugs may be a factor, and they seem to be fickle about certain location - they don't like too much sun but they also don't like too much shade. Bugs seem to like to take bites out of their leaves later in the season and they look uglier later in the season but their flowers is worth it!


On May 17, 2007, june119 from Lansing, NY wrote:

I love this plant when it blooms in the spring. I have had success transplanting it to other shady, even dry locations. I would like to get other colors and I am having trouble finding it.


On Mar 25, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

For years I have been crossing the creek next to our
home to transplant this wonderful little plant back to the
gardens and near the hosta in a shady area of our yard.

It is such a delight with such a sweet smell. It reminds me
of lilac in a way. This morning I crossed the creek once
again, and though I don't feel like digging any up right now,
I do enjoy gathering large bouquets of it. Once you put
a group of them in a small room and close the door, a
burst of fresh spring scent greets you upon entering.

Always welcome in my garden. Wish I had more of it.


On Apr 16, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Wonderful little patches of intense blue greet me in the woods and along creekbanks here in west KY in early April. The Phlox divaricata tends to favor open woodlands and partially shaded meadows here. It likes the damp creekbanks and is often seen growing up through the fallen leaves from the previous season.

It's range is from Ontario, Quebec, and VT, south to FL,west to TX and north to NB and MN.

It is quite common here in west KY and the lovely scent drifts for quite some distance. Even these wild plants have an intense aroma.

A wonderful choice for a natural woodland garden.


On Mar 18, 2004, Tiarella from Tunnel Hill, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is my favorite plant for the shade garden. I have different shades of blue ranging from almost white to purple, and the billowing waves of blue are lovely.

It self-seeds easily and cuttings are easy. Plant transplanted seedlings a couple of nodes deep.


On May 30, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

A good groundcover plant in shady areas.


On Apr 7, 2003, DianaF from Owens Cross Roads, AL wrote:

If you like blue you will love this plant. It spreads thick and low to the ground. When it blooms in late spring just after the tulips, the flowers are on spikes about 8" tall and make puffs of blue.