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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Spreading Phlox - Phlox diffusa

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

Agency Status


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General Description
Taprooted, loosely mat-forming. Stems prostrate to ascending, 2–10 cm, glabrous to minutely glandular above. Leaves firm, linear, 5–15 mm long, glabrous, ciliate. Flowers solitary; calyx villous, 5–9 mm long with flat intercostal membranes; corolla white to blue, the tube 9–12 mm long, lobes 5–9 mm long; style 4–8 mm long (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
BC, MT south to CA, NV, ID; known from Missoula and Ravalli counties (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 17

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Stony, non-calcareous fellfields, open slopes, rock outcrops, talus, forest openings; upper montane to alpine (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus flavifrons, Bombus melanopygus, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus griseocollis, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus kirbiellus (Shaw and Taylor 1986, Colla and Dumesh 2010).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Shaw, D.C. and R.J. Taylor.1986. Pollination ecology of an alpine fell-field community in the North Cascades. Northwest Science 60:21-31.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Kitchen, K.A. 2010. The influence of Douglas-fir and Rocky Mountain juniper on Wyoming and mountain big sagebrush cover in southwest Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Spreading Phlox"
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Citation for data on this website:
Spreading Phlox — Phlox diffusa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from