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Polemoniaceae: Phlox Family Plant Identification Characteristics.

Polemoniaceae
Plants of the Phlox Family

      Members of the Phlox family are usually small plants with narrow, alternate or opposite leaves. They are adapted to arid environments, especially in the western states. A few species take the form of shrubs or trees in other parts of the world. The delicate flowers are regular and bisexual, usually forming a tube at the base and flattening out to form a dish-like face. There are 5 united sepals, but they may appear mostly separate. There are 5 united petals, usually twisted in the bud stage. There are 5 stamens attached to the corolla and alternate with the petals. (In a few species there are 4 sepals, petals and stamens.) The ovary is positioned superior. It consists of 3 (sometimes 2 or 5) united carpels (syncarpous) with the partition walls usually present, forming an equal number of chambers. It matures as a capsule with 1 to numerous seeds.

      Worldwide, there are 18 genera and 320 species, mostly in the western hemisphere. Eleven genera are present in North America. Medicinally, many of these plants have seeds containing mucilage. The plants also contain inulin polysaccharides, saponins and flavonoids (Zomlefer).

Key Words: Five united petals forming tubular flowers with a flat face. Usually narrow leaves.

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Phlox sp. Alpine Phlox.

Phlox sp. Alpine Phlox. Tobacco Root Mountains. Pony, Montana.

Phlox hoodii. Spiny Phlox.

Phlox hoodii. Spiny Phlox..

Phlox longifolia. Long-leafed Phlox.

Phlox longifolia. Long-leafed Phlox.

Phlox longifolia. Long-leafed Phlox.

Phlox longifolia. Long-leafed Phlox.

Phlox speciosa. Showy Phlox.

Phlox speciosa. Showy Phlox. Native west of the Rocky Mountains.

Phlox speciosa. Showy Phlox.

Phlox speciosa. Showy Phlox. Photographed in Washington State.

Ipomopsis aggregata. Scarlet Gilia.

Ipomopsis aggregata. Scarlet Gilia.

Ipomopsis aggregata. Scarlet Gilia.

Ipomopsis aggregata. Scarlet Gilia.

Ipomopsis aggregata. Scarlet Gilia (white).

Ipomopsis aggregata. Scarlet Gilia (white).

Ipomopsis aggregata. Scarlet Gilia (white).

Ipomopsis aggregata. Scarlet Gilia (white). Chatfield State Park, Colorado.

Collomia grandiflora. Large-Flowered Collomia.

Collomia grandiflora. Large-Flowered Collomia. Twisp, Washington.

Foraging the Mountain West
Foraging the Mountain West
Collomia linearis. Narrowleaf Mountain Trumpet.

Collomia linearis. Narrowleaf Mountain Trumpet.

Collomia linearis. Narrowleaf Mountain Trumpet.

Collomia linearis. Narrowleaf Mountain Trumpet.

Polemonium occidentale. Western Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium occidentale. Western Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium occidentale. Western Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium occidentale. Western Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium pulcherrimum. Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium pulcherrimum. Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium pulcherrimum. Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium pulcherrimum. Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium pulcherrimum. Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium pulcherrimum. Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium pulcherrimum. Jacob's Ladder.

Polemonium pulcherrimum. Jacob's Ladder.

There are more
Phlox Family pictures
at PlantSystematics.org.


Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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