Phlox paniculata 'Twister' 

twister phlox    Perennial of the Month-- July 2013 Perry caricature

(flox' pan-eh-cue-laa' tah)   pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name:  Twister tall garden phlox

Family:  Phlox, Polemoniaceae

Height x width: 12-16' x 8-12" (shorter than many cultivars)

Growth rate, habit: moderate, upright

Foliage: opposite, simple, elliptic, 2-4" long and one inch wide

Flowers:  a reverse of 'Peppermint Twist', white with red-pink flamed central stripe on petals; panicles terminal on stems, mid-season (early Aug. in VT)

Hardiness: USDA zones 4a-8b

Soil:  average well-drained, tolerates many but not wet

Light:  full sun, tolerates part shade but may not bloom as well

Pests and problems:  none significant, good mildew resistance; tolerates urban pollution; possibly mites; chewing from small mammals as rabbits and woodchucks as well as deer

Landscape habit, uses:  mid to back of border, cutting; combines well with meadowsweet, daisies, ornamental grasses, white coneflower (Echinacea), other garden phlox

Other interest: a Darwin perennials (IL) introduction

Other culture:  compact so shouldn't need staking, remove spent flower heads, cut back to near ground in late fall

Propagation:  spring division, summer stem cuttings

Sources:   online and local specialty nurseries

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