Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Phlox tenuifolia, Santa Catalina Mountain Phlox

Phlox tenuifolia, Santa Catalina Mountain PhloxPhlox tenuifolia, Santa Catalina Mountain PhloxPhlox tenuifolia, Santa Catalina Mountain PhloxPhlox tenuifolia, Santa Catalina Mountain PhloxPhlox tenuifolia, Santa Catalina Mountain Phlox

Scientific Name: Phlox tenuifolia
Common Name: Santa Catalina Mountain Phlox
Also Called: Santa Catalina Mountain Phlox, Santa Catalina Phlox
Family: Polemoniaceae, Jacob’s Ladder or Phlox Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 24 inches or more (36 inches).
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; multiple stems (1 to 6), suffrutescent, clear gap between nodes, stems hairy, pilose to villous.
Leaves: Green; leaves small and sparse, leaves flat and variable in shape, linear to narrowly lanceolate, leaf surface smooth or sparsely pilose.
Flower Color: White, lavender; flowers showy with short pedicels, 2 to 3 terminal flowers, note photo above, pedicels sparsely glandular hairy, corolla funnel-form, corolla tube much longer than calyx lobes
Flowering Season: March to May, again August to September following sufficient monsoon rains.
Elevation: 1,500 to 5,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Rocky slopes, open to shaded sites, canyons, rocky ravines, shrub-lands, woodlands.

Recorded Range: Santa Catalina Mountain Phlox is rare in the United States where it is native central and southern Arizona. A popular place to observe this species is northeast of Tucson in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Phlox tenuifolia.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: USDA includes 72 species for the genus Phlox.
The Plant List includes 85 accepted species names for the genus Phlox.

Comments: The white funnel-form flowers of Santa Catalina Mountain Phlox are unique in the genus Phlox. It is interesting to note that only some populations of Santa Catalina Mountain Phlox are sweet-scented while others emit a musky scent. The type specimen for Phlox tenuifolia is from the Santa Catalina Mountains.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see; Slender Phlox, Phlox gracilis and Showy Phlox, Phlox speciosa.

Date Profile Completed: 05/04/2016, updated format 09/30/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search (accessed 05/27/2016).
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
Dieter H. Wilken and J. Mark Porter, 2005, Vascular Plants of Arizona:Polemoniaceae. CANOTIA 1: 1-37.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 05/27/2016).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: ]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed )
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information