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Hardy, summer-blooming, North American perennial
Description: Clusters of bright pink flowers rise above neat mounds of narrow, sword-shaped leaves
Habit: Grows 6-12” high, clump forming, spreads by rhizomes up to 24” wide; evergreen
Culture: Prefers full sun and well-drained soil; tolerates dry soil; remove spent flower stems to encourage leaf growth
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 through 9
Origin: Virginia, West Virginia
Attributes: Evergreen, drought tolerant, attracts butterflies
Native to Virginia and West Virginia, this low-growing phlox was named for Samuel B. Buckley, who found it growing wild near White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in the early 1800s. P. buckleyi was not introduced into gardens until botanist and mineralogist Edgar T. Wherry named it in 1930. Wherry, an expert on ferns and president of the American Fern Society from 1934-39, also wrote The Genus Phlox (1955). Sword-leaf phlox is a tough, evergreen perennial with small yet showy flowers that attract butterflies.