chicagoland grows® Plant Introduction Program

Running With Scissors Phlox

Phlox ‘Running With Scissors’ PPAF



Do you remember the preschool training scissors with blunt tips and short blades that wouldn’t cut much of anything? The blunt and strongly cleft petals of this selection remind us of those training scissors, and so it is named in honor of all training scissors users’ everywhere.

Phlox 'Running With Scissors' has proven to be a super-charged moss phlox in terms of flower power, vigor, and durability. The 1-inch-wide, light to medium-violet flowers—large for a moss phlox—are produced for four to six weeks in spring commencing in mid to late April in northern Illinois (USDA Zone 5). A repeat bloom in autumn has been observed multiple years.

At peak bloom, the plants are covered 90 to 100% with flowers. Close up, you can appreciate the flowers’ cleft petals and conspicuous purple striae adjacent to the floral tube. A bonus is the faint but pleasant sweet hay fragrance! Two-year-old plants measured 20 inches wide and 7 inches tall at peak bloom, and four-year-old plants were 38 inches wide and 7 inches tall at peak bloom. Did we mention this was a vigorous selection? Over summer the lush, dark green foliage reminds us of rosemary. A mounded grower that continues to spread over time.

Like most moss phlox, this selection may become somewhat woody and open in the center with age. These respond favorably to light pruning immediately after flowering is completed. It is best cultivated in full sun and on a well-drained soil. It is easy to propagate from cuttings taken after the plant finishes flowering.

Developed by Jim Ault, Ph.D., at Chicago Botanic Garden from a cross made in 2008 between Phlox 'McDaniel's Cushion'  and Phlox bifida.

Likely hardy to USDA Zones 4 to 8.

Retail availability in 2017.

If you are interested in becoming a licensed propagator and grower of this selection, contact the program manager at .

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