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Spreading Phlox (Phlox diffusa) blooming along the Sentinel Dome Trail, Yosemite National Park

Spreading Phlox (Phlox diffusa)

Family:  Phlox (Polemoniaceae)

This ground-hugging flower is widespread throughout the park, growing in rocky, sunny areas. You can find it in especially large numbers along the Sentinel Dome trail, and if you're a flower photographer, you could well find the carpets of phlox lining the trail a bigger draw than the views from the dome itself at sunset.

Blooms:  May - August

Lifespan:  Perennial

Origins:  Native  (see distribution maps for California and US/Canada)

Phlox diffusa etymology:  Phlox derives from the ancient Greek term for flame. Diffusa is a Latin word meaning spread out or wide, referring to this diminutive plant's tendency to spread out and cover considerably more horizontal than vertical area.

This Photo:  Along the Sentinel Dome trail, late June

Other Resources:   CalFlora  ·  CalPhotos  ·  USDA

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