About Large-Flowered Phlox: This wildflower was first found near the Columbia River and described in 1828 by Scotsman David Douglas, the first botanist to methodically find and classify over 250 plants in the northwestern region of the United States. The genus name Collomia, bestowed by English botanist Thomas Nuttall, comes from the Greek word “kolla,” meaning “glue,” a reference to the sticky seeds of the plants in this family. The species name “grandiflora” means large-flowered.
Large-Flowered Phlox Germination: Direct sow in late fall, planting the seed just below the surface of the soil. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 30 days before direct sowing. Keep the soil evenly moist until germination, which should occur within 15-30 days. The treated seeds can also be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost of spring; plant the seeds on the surface of a flat, keeping the moisture consistent and the temperature around 65-70 degrees F. Transplant or thin seedlings 6-9” apart. This plant grows best in rich, well drained soil, though it adapts to sandy or rocky soil.
Growing Large-Flowered Phlox Seeds: Water the seedlings occasionally until they become established. Mature plants tolerate dry or poor soil, though they will be somewhat stunted; they achieve their full potential with adequate moisture. This plant grows best in moderate temperatures, and does not appreciate excess heat. It attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Harvesting Large-Flowered Phlox: This delicate wildflower is best displayed in the garden or prairie, and does not make a suitable cut flower.
Saving Large-Flowered Phlox Seeds: After flowering, the plant will produce a pod with sticky seeds that turn brown when ripe. Since the pods explode when fully dry and ripe, check them often to prevent loss. Though the pods can be gathered individually as they ripen, an easier method is to pull the entire plant when the majority of the seed has ripened; hang it upside down in a protected area where the seeds can safely fall from the exploding pods. When the plant has dried completely, thresh the pods that have not split open to remove the rest of the seed. Store the cleaned seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Large-Flowered Phlox Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Large-flowered Mountain-trumpet, Grand Collomia, Large-flowered Collomia, Mountain Bouvardia Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Spring-Summer Height: 24-36 inches Spacing: 6-9 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3-8 Seeds Per Oz: 9,000 Produces a fuzzy stem with green or red 2-3” blade-shaped leaves and clusters of tiny, creamy white to peach tubular flowers with five curved petals and stamens tipped with bright blue pollen.