Phlox nana var. ensifolia - plant of the month June 2011
Phlox nana var. ensifolia, a dryland plant from New Mexico and Texas was a popular choice among exhibitors in the 1960s and 1970s, but has been rarely seen of late. It forms an airy pink scented cloud over a mass of grey green stems which needs carefully arranging to show it off to the best advantage when pot grown, (The plant shown was the Farrer winning exhibit of Joy Bishop at the 2011 East Anglia Show; this had already been in flower for several weeks prior to this, demonstrating the long flowering period of this species). There seems to be confusion over the taxonomy, for although this name is valid in the current RHS database, it is elsewhere listed under the synonym of P mesoleuca, and the varietal tag has been raised to species level, i.e. P. ensifolia..
Mystique also surrounds the preferred method of propagation. In