chicagoland grows® Plant Introduction Program

Strawberries and Cream Phlox

Phlox ‘Strawberries and Cream’ PP#28762



Phlox 'Strawberries and Cream' and the related 'Plumtastic' take moss phlox breeding in a completely new direction. These hybrids produce novel flower colors not found in Phlox subulata, as well as flowers that deepen in color as they age, unlike P. subulata whose flowers can fade over time. Reliably lower-growing and possessing possibly higher pH and salt tolerance than P. subulata add to their novelty. The key was crossing Phlox subulata with the western species Phlox kelseyi, which is a deciduous, mat-forming species found in high salinity and high pH, seasonally wet habitats in Idaho and Montana. A tough species for durable hybrids. While P. kelseyi is temperamental in cultivation in the eastern and Midwestern U.S., it has imparted novel traits in these two hybrids.

Like 'Plumtastic', 'Strawberries and Cream' was selected for flowers that darken in color with age, yet are attractive in all color phases. 'Strawberries and Cream' blooms for four weeks, commencing in late April in northern Illinois (USDA Zone 5). Test plants were covered 90% with flowers at peak bloom in early to mid-May. The 3/4 inch wide flowers are nearly white with a light violet-pink blush upon opening, aging to medium and even dark pink-violet. The broad petals make for full flowers, adding to the display. This is a slightly larger and more vigorous grower than ‘Plumtastic’, with three year old plants growing to 4” tall in their centers, 2 1/2” tall around their edges, and 18” wide. Winter survival has been excellent, with minimal damage. Overly wet or compacted summer soils can lead to foliage loss. Selected by Dr. Jim Ault at Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois. Hardy to USDA Zones 4 – 8.

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