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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Carpet Phlox - Phlox caespitosa
Other Names:  Phlox rigida, Phlox douglasii

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: SU

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Taprooted, mat-forming. Stems ascending to erect, 4–12 cm, glandular-puberulent. Leaves stiff, linear, 5–10 mm long, spine-tipped, sparsely glandular-puberulent, often with axillary fascicles. Flowers solitary; calyx sparsely villous, glandular, 5–10 mm long with flat intercostal membranes; corolla white to blue, the tube 7–12 mm long, lobes 4–10 mm long; style 3–7 mm long (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
BC, MT, south to OR and ID (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 78

(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)

Grasslands, open forest, sagebrush steppe, rock outcrops; valleys, montane (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?
    • Cope, M.G. 1992. Distribution, habitat selection and survival of transplanted Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) in the Tobacco Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Hawkins, P.H. 1903. The alpine flora of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis, Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 24 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
    • Locklear, J.H. 2009. Nomenclatural innovations in Phlox (Polemoniaceae), with updated circumscription of P. caespitosa, P. douglasii, P. missoulensis, and P. richardsonii. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 3:645-658.
    • Nimir, M.B. 1974. The effect of spring burning of big sagebrush-grassland (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.-grassland) on the soil and vegetation. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 139 p.
    • Simanonok, M. 2018. Plant-pollinator network assembly after wildfire. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 123 p.
    • Simanonok, M.P. and L.A. Burkle. 2019. Nesting success of wood-cavity-nesting bees declines with increasing time since wildfire. Ecology and Evolution 9:12436-12445.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Carpet Phlox"
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Citation for data on this website:
Carpet Phlox — Phlox caespitosa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from