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Phlox stolonifera 'Sherwood Purple' (creeping phlox)

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Technical sheet - Phlox creeping

Phlox stolonifera 'Sherwood Purple'

creeping phlox

Mat-forming habit with masses of star-like, clear purple flowers with deep green foliage. A beautifully vibrant groundcover that will bring excitement to the shade or woodland garden!

Phlox stolonifera 'Sherwood Purple' LP32 - 32 per flat Availability
Phlox stolonifera 'Sherwood Purple' - 72 per flat Availability
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6-10 Inches


8-18 Inches


10-12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 5-8

creeping phlox Interesting Notes

Phlox stolonifera ‘Sherwood Purple’ has a mat-forming habit with masses of star-like, clear purple flowers and deep green foliage. A beautifully vibrant groundcover topping at 6” tall that will bring excitement to the shade or woodland garden and provide nectar to early season pollinators. While Mt. Cuba Center's Phlox Trials concentrated mostly on Phlox paniculata cultivars, ‘Sherwood Purple’ was given high marks for its habit, vigor, and floral display. P. stolonifera is different from P. divaricata by its adaptability to a range of conditions, its rounded foliage, and a slightly earlier bloom time.

Phlox stolonifera is found in chiefly mountainous regions such as in the Piedmonts and Appalachians from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Tennessee and Georgia in wooded areas and along shaded streambanks. Creeping phlox spreads steadily by spreading stolons and covers the ground in a shallow manner. It thrives in moist, acidic soils in part sun to shade with free-draining soils. For best results, deadhead flowers after springtime display and attempt careful late winter cleanup as rough raking can uproot the stolons of the plant. ‘Sherwood Purple’ is a particularly vigorous cultivar of this species.

A lovely groundcover, we particularly enjoy it as part of a living tapestry in the shade garden, interwoven with ferns, Phlox divaricata, and Carex. It does best when combined with P. divaricata in the garden to extend the springtime blooming. Flowers support sphinx moths, swallowtail butterflies, and hummingbirds. ‘Sherwood Purple’ is lovely in a shaded area of a rock garden, in a woodland garden, or along a shaded path.

Phlox stolonifera 'Sherwood Purple' Growing and Maintenance Tips

P. stolonifera thrives in moist, well-drained soils in full to partial shade. Spreads rapidly by stolons. Very drought tolerant once established. Give good air circulation to reduce growth of powdery mildew. Benefits from occasional fertilization. May be propagated by root cuttings or division any time. A stunning groundcover and border plant, and a valuable early nectar source for pollinators.

Good Substitutions

thickleaf phlox Phlox carolina ssp. carolina 'Kim'
woodland phlox Phlox divaricata 'Blue Moon'
woodland phlox Phlox divaricata 'May Breeze'

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Green Infrastructure
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
Landscape Plug™
Native to North America
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Propagation Type