Butterflies on ... Phlox paniculata

roselee z8b S.W. TexasDecember 17, 2010

This is John Fanick's phlox, a variety of the old fashioned 'summer phlox' or Phlox paniculata. Phlox of all kinds are among my very favorite plants for summer color and as a butterfly nectar flower. It's a nicely scented flower that's great for bouquets also.

Tiger swallowtails seem especially attracted to it.

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My past attempts at growing these beauties were unsuccessful as they all died after one season but I think after seeing your pic I will have to try again. Joe

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 2:31AM
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Love that phlox! I've had it on my wishlist for a couple years.
I have one called 'David' and quite a few David seedlings. They are all mildew free and beautiful, but the butterflies don't seem interested in the variety I have (which is why I have John Fanick's on my wishlist). : )

But! This was the most beautiful butterfly I have ever seen and ironically, it was nectaring on one of my David volunteers. Wish I had gotten a better picture of it. It was a half dark form and half yellow form Eastern Tiger and one of the biggest Tigers I've even seen.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 10:23AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Wow! How very exciting it must have been to see a tiger that's a mixture of the two forms. I wonder if this occurs often.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 10:52AM
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I have a couple of shots of GSTs & PVSTs on my phlox.
GST on ???phlox(maybe Bright Eyes) given to me in a trade...

PVST on Summer Phlox

GST on 'Starfire' Phlox

Love these SWTs!!!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 7:09PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Oh I love these threads! Here are a couple pics of butterflies on the Phlox paniculata.

ETS on a seedling of Phlox 'Nora Leigh' -

Spicebush Swallowtail on Phlox 'Nora Leigh' I see them on the Phlox paniculata more than any other butterfly species.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 11:52PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Beautiful pictures!
I planted my first phlox last spring, 'David', and I'm looking forward to seeing how it does next year. It got crowded out, so I may need to move it. Y'all's are gorgeous!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 10:10AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thanks for more great photos!

Although highly rated the 'David' variety did not do well for me here in San Antonio. I tried it two or three times. Some varieties that I've found to be very easy to grow besides John Fanicks are the bright pinks 'First Lady' and 'Richard Poore' as well as the old fashioned more lavender pink one simply called 'Summer phlox'.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 11:33AM
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perennialfan273(zone 5)

I've been thinking about planting some phlox for a while now. I'm thinking about trying 'David', 'Bright Eyes', and 'Eva Cullum'.

@roselee-I'm sorry that your phlox didn't do well for you, but I know from experience that phlox paniculata is not one of the most drought tolerant plants (nor is it tolerant of excessive heat), and I imagine that the drought and heat stress may be what killed your plants in the end. Anyways, I hope your plants don't suffer the same fate in future years.

Also, if anyone is having powdery mildew problems, let me know. I have a couple natural remedies that can help prevent it in future years (and sometimes eliminate it).

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 1:13AM
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I'm hoping to find some new phlox varieties at one of our local nurseries this year. If not, I may wish I had ordered some. It would be nice if the local places would send out color catalogs in the middle of winter so I'd know ahead of time what they're going to carry.

Roselee - If you're still hanging around - Have you noticed whether your John Fanick's phlox comes true from seed? Are they at least more heat and drought tolerant than others like their parent? If you ever have any unwanted seeds or seedlings from that one, I could give them a loving home. : )

Anyone adding new phlox this year? I bought a bag of bare-root Orange Perfection phlox at Walmart a few weeks ago and potted them up. I don't know if that one is butterfly approved though. We'll see.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:00AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Christie, you have mail.

Yes, the John Fanick's Phlox is heat and drought tolerant, also very healthy. It never has mildew or anything like that. Of course, if it's watered and fertilized it grows and blooms more :-) If you snap off the spent blooms it puts out more buds on the stem below, so it just about blooms all season long.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 10:33PM
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