"Walk we not, Sweet, by garden ways,
Where the late rose hangs & the phlox delays."
In a moist sunny garden near the Pin Oak we have a garden phlox called 'Starfire.' It is a brilliantly deep-deep pink, almost cherry-red, & more than most phloxes justifies the meaning of Phlox, which is Flame.
It is not dwarf but is one of the smaller phloxes, generally staying under three feet tall, topped with large balls made up of small five-petalled blossoms.
It forms quite a dense bush, & late in the year actually begins to look more like a branching woody shrub than the usual upright perennial phlox.
Because of the woody shrub appearance it develops by early Autumn, I tried an experiment in that when it came time to trim it back, I tried preserve as much as possible of its aged-looking lower "trunk." This turned out to be wasted effort, as just like stemmier phloxes, it dies to the ground in winter.
'Starfire' has smaller denser bronzy-green mildew-resistant leaves that add to that "small shrub" appearance which makes it my favorite of these phloxes. It is not as powerful a bloomer as 'Mrs. Pepper' & 'David' have been, but its fewer blooms make a bright impact & are long lasting.
It blooms summer & autumn. Though it is at its height of flower June through August, ours reblooms sporadically well into September.
Though the clump is shorter & smaller, the flowers themselves are nearly as big as on larger phloxes. It loves the sun, yet it will also bloom well in partial shade.
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