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Slender Phlox
Microsteris gracilis
About Slender Phlox (Microsteris gracilis) Nurseries Show All Photos Microsteris is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the phlox family containing the single species Microsteris gracilis, known by the common name slender phlox. The segregation of this species into a genus of its own is controversial, and many botanists continue to include the plant in genus Phlox. Genetic analysis is continuing. Microsteris gracilis is native to western North America from northwestern Canada to the American Midwest and West Coast, through Mexico, as well as parts of South America. It is native to all the diverse plant communities in California. Microsteris gracilis is an annual herb which is variable in shape, taking a decumbent, branching, sometimes almost tuftlike form or growing erect and very slender. Its maximum height approaches 20 centimeters, but it may be much smaller. The lance-shaped leaves are 1 to 3 centimeters long and oppositely arranged except for the upper ones, which are alternate. The herbage is glandular and hairy in texture. The inflorescence at the top of the stem bears one or more small flowers. The flower has a tubular throat around a centimeter long encased in a tubular calyx of sepals. The flat corolla has five flat-tipped or notched lobes just 1 or 2 millimeters long. The flower is white to bright pink with a yellowish throat.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
7.9 in (20.1 cm)

Native Status

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
262' - 9748'

Annual Precip. ?
6.3" - 153.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 5.57"

Coldest Month ?
20.1° F - 53.7° F

Hottest Month ?
48.2° F - 80.5° F

Humidity ?
0.52 vpd - 28.68 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Annual Phlox, Microsteris

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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